Gov. Newsom Stirs Controversy on Plans for UCLA to Join Transfer Admissions Guarantee Program



Royce Hall at UCLA

Following the January announcement of California Governor Gavin Newsom’s 2023-2024 budget proposal, many complaints have emerged over rumors that the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) is to join the Transfer Admissions Guarantee (TAG) program. TAG grants high-achieving community college students a guaranteed spot at any of the UC campuses, with UC San Diego and UC Berkeley excluded from the program – and UCLA, for now. But even if TAG succeeds in bringing more students onto UCLA’s campus, numerous people believe that because such a ‘prestigious’ university like UCLA is a “public ivy,” the program is unfair to already admitted students.

But this isn’t just what the public thinks; the state Legislative Analyst’s Office has opposed Newsom’s proposal. The Office said it would set a “very poor policy precedence” by linking state funding to narrow outcomes at a single campus while “violating the basic tenet of fairness.” According to the LA Times, the analysis suggested that the Legislature reject the proposal and consider an approach to transfer reforms that would apply to all campuses.

In contrast, Jack Zwald from the California Finance Department said the proposal would and solely is intended to “increase access and equity” for transfer students to UCLA.

Another primary consideration for UCLA to decline or accept the proposal is its financial benefit. In findings of EdSource, Gov. Newsom and UCLA have a multiyear commitment that includes an annual 5% budget increase if the university continues to increase its in-state student population — making its future funding dependent on the implementation of TAG. If UCLA rejects the proposal, it could lose up to $20 million in funding.

As for now, the budget will go up for a final vote this summer after revisions in May following an economic analysis, according to the governor’s office.