Transferring to a Four-Year University Just Got Easier

Gov. Newsom signs a $47.1 billion higher education package paving the way for community college students.


Joseph Salcido, Staff Writer

A new law of the land has arrived, and it’s here to help community college students transfer to Cal State and UC campuses across the state.

Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.) recently signed a $47.1 billion higher education package at Cal State Northridge, passing several bills that will increase low-income students’ financial aid and housing assistance. 

The legislation helps with financial aid assistance and looks to drastically improve the transfer system to four-year universities. Assembly Bill 928, for example, will require California State and UC systems to implement a pathway to their colleges by making it easier to identify the specific courses needed for transfer as well as expanding the required classes needed for transfer.

Newsom also enacted Assembly Bill 111, requiring community colleges to use a common course numbering system. The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges strongly discouraged this system, saying that it would cause costly and unnecessary difficulty for schools.

Proponents said the system will make sure students will not end up taking excess units due to the current confusing system where colleges have different course numbers, thus making students spend money on courses they initially did not need for transfer. 

At the signing, the bill’s author, Assemblymember Marc Berman (D-District 24), said: “When students discuss their experience with the transfer process, through community college, the four-year university, their message is loud and clear: Transfer is broken. It’s too complex, confusing and difficult to navigate. Instead of being a clear path, it’s a maze, and it’s costing students time and money that they can’t afford.”

A 2020 report from the Public Policy Institute of California noted that around 19% of community college students who wish to transfer within four years actually end up doing so.

The package was created after a massive drop in community college enrollment due to the unforeseen pandemic. The government hopes this boost will help bring back students and invite new ones who may have felt college was not an option.

Newsom passed another piece of legislation in the form of Senate Bill 330. This bill helps the education system and looks to increase affordable housing for students and staff by allowing community colleges to enter into less than fair market value leases and ultimately easing the current housing crisis in our state.

The bill will also require high school seniors to apply for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream act application. 

“We’re trying to reconcile the fact that we haven’t been investing in our system of higher education over the course of the last few decades,” Newsom said. “There is no equation to address the issue of income and wealth disparity unless we provide opportunities and create pathways to close those gaps.”

It’s fair to say community colleges and their students have a lot to look forward to and should hope to see massive growth in its community and increase diversity and equity so that every student in California receives the same opportunity in their education.