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Photos by Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego Publications

Thousands of Transfer Students Explore Their Future at UC San Diego

Not many college students can say their dorm room has an ocean view. Still, the thousands of prospective students and families visiting UC San Diego for Transfer Triton Day on Saturday were impressed by much more than just the campus’ proximity to the ocean. The annual event invites admitted transfer students to discover what it’s like to live and study at UC San Diego, from unique research opportunities to a vibrant, entrepreneurial student life.

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Transfer Triton Day kicked off with tours of UC San Diego’s Village at Torrey Pines—where many rooms for transfer students have sweeping ocean views—followed by welcome sessions at RIMAC Arena. Afterward, students had the opportunity to participate in lab tours, meet faculty and staff from various academic departments, and attend information sessions on financial aid, career services, undergraduate research and more. All six colleges also held special programs to welcome new students to their communities.

Jasmine Patanapriom, a current transfer student and member of the All Campus Transfer Association (ACTA), was among the UC San Diego volunteers greeting admits and families as they arrived on campus.

“We do a lot to build community for transfer students,” she said, noting the many events and resources ACTA offers. “Sometimes there can be a disconnect between students who have been here for a couple of years and new transfer students. Getting involved has really helped me to find my community, so I always encourage students to put themselves out there.”

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Over the past year, the University of California has taken steps to streamline the process for California Community College students transferring to a UC campus. Under Transfer Pathways, introduced in July of 2015, transfer requirements for 10 of UC’s most popular majors were made the same for all nine undergraduate campuses. Each “pathway” provides a single set of courses students can take to prepare to transfer into a particular major, eliminating the confusion students face when choosing classes at their community college before knowing which UC school they want to apply for admission.

In addition, this year the deadline for students to file applications to transfer for fall 2016 was extended from Nov. 30, 2015 to Jan. 4, 2016, widening the application window for qualified students preparing to transfer to the university. At UC San Diego, transfer student applications increased by 14.5 percent from 2015, with a total of 18,480 transfer students applying for admission.

The transfer application extension came amid a projected growth of 10,000 resident undergraduates across the University of California system over the next three years—5,000 of them next year—a major effort to boost UC’s enrollment of California students at both the transfer and freshman levels.

For Cate Wilborn of Vista, Calif., being admitted to UC San Diego means an opportunity to pursue her passion: writing. Wilborn currently works as an insurance agent and is a single mom. She started her job to put herself through college, and kept it when she had a family. Now, Wilborn is positioning herself for a career in publishing.

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“It’s overwhelming and exciting to be here,” said Wilborn, who will major in literature when she begins this fall. “I’m still young and my kids are young, so I made the decision to go all in and follow my passion.”

Wilborn said she was planning to be on campus all day to take full advantage of Transfer Triton Day. After signing her Statement of Intent to Register (SIR) in Town Square, she still had on her list to attend a literature discussion, explore summer study abroad programs and learn about getting involved with student organizations.

Library Walk was lined with student organizations on Saturday afternoon, showcasing the many opportunities for UC San Diego students to get involved outside of the classroom. In Price Center Plaza, student performances entertained admits and families taking a break from the day’s activities.

The sense of community is what convinced Jose Torres, an admitted student from Hemet, Calif, to choose UC San Diego as his academic home.

“I love the community feel of San Diego,” said Torres, who grew up in the region. “Each neighborhood has its own culture, and I feel like the university has that too with the six college system.”

After completing his SIR, Torres set off to check out the library. As a history major, he is planning to dedicate some considerable time there over the next two years.