Transfer Student Stories

Lizette's Story
Video: How to Create a UCTAP Account
Video: How to Use 
How to Read Your Financial Aid Package
Alumnus Greg Neri, an Author and Artist Who Loves to Give Back

Lizette’s Story

Meet the Author: 

Hi, everyone! I’m Lizette and I am a senior earning a BA in Economics. I am the 2021 Admissions Umoja Ambassador Intern. I shape and conduct outreach to Umoja programs at community colleges around the state. A part of my internship is to create this blog to help support Black transfer students. 

My acceptance process: 

When I applied to UC Santa Cruz I did not think I was ever going to attend. I don't even remember why I chose to apply to UCSC. I actually TAG’d to UC Santa Barbara because they offer transfer students their own apartments. To me that was the best it could get. However I failed to look at the Economics Department at UCSB. I didn't realize that the Economics Department at UCSB focused more on finance -- something I had negative interest in. As in, I kinda hated it. I was forced to look at the only other school that accepted me -- UCSC. 

The first thing I did was check out their Economics Department and I fell in love. There was regular economics and another major called “Global Economics.” I knew Global Economics was for me because it included classes about policy, economics, health, and the environment. It was everything I was interested in. I checked out their resources for Transfer students. I learned UCSC offers STARS, a summer academy, and guaranteed housing for two years which was super helpful because I planned to graduate in two years [please note that housing guarantees are currently suspended due to COVID]. The only thing left for me to do was to actually check out the campus

Thankfully for me, a good friend of mine attended UCSC. I called her up to ask her if I can visit and check out the campus. Just the drive up to Santa Cruz convinced me of attending. I’m from Los Angeles and never in my life have I seen so much greenery and forest.



The campus was breathtaking and beautiful! I loved everything about it. In my first hour on campus I saw wildflowers in bloom, bunnies, and deer. LA could never. My second day on campus I decided to just submit my SIR, my statement of intent to register. I applied to the Summer Academy for transfer [now Transfer Edge] in September and got accepted. Around late September during the Summer Academy, I received my financial aid package for the school year and enrolled in my classes for fall quarter. The peer mentors at the Summer Academy hosted workshops to help understand both processes and answer any questions. I don’t think I would have adjusted well on campus without the Summer Academy because I was able to explore the school and surrounding city without the usual student population. When fall quarter did start, I knew my way around, which busses to take, and all the paths around campus.


Video: How to Create a UCTAP Account

Welcome, prospective transfer student! Make sure to create and complete your UC Tap Account to ensure you are on the right track to transfer. This video will show you how to use your TAP account to track all the coursework you’ve taken and submit your Transfer Admissions Guarantee to a participating campus. Don’t fall behind on the transfer process and watch now!


Video: How to Use

Hi, prospective transfer student! Are you confused about which classes you need to take in order to transfer? Watch this video to learn step-by-step how to use and find out what classes you must take and which are transferable to your institution of choice! Take advantage of this helpful tool and watch now!




Reading Financial Aid Awards can be really confusing. "How to know how much you'll need to pay?" or "How to accept your aid?" are all common questions. The Financial Aid and Scholarship Office at UCSC usually sends out offers within a few weeks following your offer of admission and posts your award notification on MyUCSC. Below are types of aid descriptions and categories that you might see on your Award Summary


Financial Aid You Don’t Need to Pay Back

Cal Grant - There are 3 kinds of Cal Grants A, B, and C. This is money the state of California gives that you do not need to pay back. As you can see in the first example, I received Cal Grant which helped pay for tuition and fees at a four-year college. Cal Grants are up to $12,570 at a University of California campus, up to $5,742 at a California University campus, and up to $9,084 at independent colleges. You need at least a 2.4 college GPA. 

However, in the 2nd example there is a Cal Grant B Access. Cal Grant B provides a living allowance of up to $1,672 which may be used to pay living expenses, books, supplies and transportation, as well as tuition and fees. The second example was my aid award package my second year at UCSC. This award is in addition to the original amount of $12,570, but is now named Cal Grant B Fee. 

To qualify you need to submit a FAFSA or a California Dream Act Application by the deadline and meet the eligibility and financial requirements as well as any minimum GPA requirements. 

Federal Pell Grant - Federal Pell grants are awarded to undergraduate students who display exceptional financial need. The maximum Federal Pell Grant award is $6345 for the 202-21award year . The amount you get will depend on your Expected Family Contribution, the cost of attendance, your status as a full-time or part-time student, and your plans to attend school for a full academic year or less. You apply by submitting a FAFSA form. Since FAFSA distributes aid on a first come first serve basis and I submitted my FAFSA in January, I received a lower Pell Grant my second year. 

Federal Work Study Eligibility - provides part-time jobs for undergraduate and graduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses. It is available to full-time or part-time students. Your total work-study award depends on when you apply, your level of financial need, and your school’s funding level. 

This is very beneficial because if you get a campus job, that department might be more inclined to hire you if you have work study. This means your paycheck isn't coming out of the school department’s budget instead it’s coming from the federal government. As you can see I received work study my first year, but not my second. This is why it's important to submit your FAFSA asap.  

Note there are UC specific grants as you can see. There is the UC Health InsGrant and/or university specific scholarships.


Financial Aid You NEED to Pay Back 

Loans - You may be offered loans as part of your financial offer.This is money you borrow and must pay back with interest. If you need to take out a loan make sure you understand the terms and conditions. The federal government, banks, financial institutions or other organizations offer loans. Federal student loans, loans that come from the federal government, usually have more benefits than private bank loans


There are 4 types of federal loans: 

Direct Subsidized Loans: Made available to undergraduate students who show financial need to help cover the costs of higher education at a college or career school.


Direct Unsubsidized Loans: Made eligible to undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. Eligibility is not based on financial need. 


Direct PLUS Loans: offered to graduate or professional students and parents of dependent undergraduate students to help pay for education expenses not covered by other financial aid. Eligibility is not determined by financial need, but a credit check is required. 


Direct Consolidation Loans: this loan allows  you to combine all your eligible federal student loans into a single loan with a single loan servicer. 


What about yearly costs, tuition, room and meal plan, ETC?


Ucsc Resources


Alumnus Greg Neri, an Author and Artist Who Loves to Give Back

greg_neri.jpgFilmmaker and writer, Greg Neri graduated from UC Santa Cruz in 1987. In his interview with the Theater Arts Department at UCSC, he expressed that he loved UCSC for its community origin. As a film and theater arts major he took advantage of the lush meadows and never ending forest.  He spent a lot of his free time painting the meadows near the campus barn. Moreover, Greg recalls that his professors at UCSC took a chance on him which gave him the courage to take risks in his life. 

However, Greg did not stay a filmmaker forever, he actually started writing after being stuck on the film project Yummy. While working with kids in South Central, Los Angeles, he realized he found it easier to talk and relate to younger kids. He appreciated writing for its lower budget costs and greater control over his projects. Eventually the film project became the graphic novel that is it today. 

Diversity in writing is really important for Greg Neri. In his interview with ConnectingYA, Greg Neri explained that there needs to be writing that allows other cultures to walk in the same footsteps of the main character without disconnect. It needs to be written in a way that the reader can understand the main character’s actions and if in the same circumstances, might make the same decisions too. He says Yummy is ‘not a ghetto story, but a human one.” He explains that there isn't any writing for kids who are at risk to become gangbangers and that it’s those kids who need stories the most. Finally he explains that, “the evolution of my books was not planned but they just came along, inspired by real places and people I encountered in life, I haven't looked back


1Jones, P. (2015, June 15). RAWing with Greg Neri. Retrieved April 04, 2021, from

If you are trying to decide what to do with your life, Greg advises you to “find your voice and use it. Only you can see the world the way you do.”2