June 5, 2023
When the University of California system proposed a universal guaranteed admissions program for community college students in March, it piqued the interest of those who seek entry into one of the most selective university systems in the country.
Scott Colonese is one of them. Multiple times a week he drives from his one bedroom apartment in Hollywood to Los Angeles City College with a 40-pound cello and hard case strapped to his right shoulder. A first-year student from Stockton, California, he made a pit stop at LACC before moving onto the place where he envisions himself.
“I want to go to UCLA,” the 18-year-old beams confidently, after attending classes on the LACC campus. “It’s the variety. I’d like to go into modeling. I want to go into some film stuff. I want to do music and just do art in general. So UCLA is a great place to be able to explore opportunities like that.”
The University of California, Los Angeles, and several other southern California branches of the university system rejected him straight out of high school, even though he had a 3.9 GPA, he says. “I was unlucky,” he adds, “but I think having a guaranteed path to get in is fantastic.”
If California legislators approve the guaranteed transfer program, for the first time it would include all nine campuses – adding three of the most selective schools: UCLA, the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of California, San Diego. It would also create a universal set of acceptance criteria for the more than 2 million California students who attend 116 community colleges in the state annually.