Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the California State University (CSU) system announced that the deadline to apply to be enrolled for the fall 2021 semester has primarily extended to Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020. This is the second time CSU has announced an extension of the application deadline since 2018.
In the past, when the application deadline was extended, many students would approach Skyline Transfer Center to process the application form. However, fewer students have reached out to the transfer center for application consultation compared to the previous year.
Lucy Jovel, the Skyline Transfer Center coordinator spoke about the consultation process on transfer application this year.
“Typically, when we are in person, our transfer center is busy, and we’re seeing upwards of 500 to 600 students in the month of November,” Jovel said. “But we’re not seeing that number, not even nearly that number. So we’ve seen some regular students come through. We’re trying to get the marketing out to let students know we’re open.”
In 2019, CSU announced that the application fee will increase from $55 to $70, and that this would be implemented in 2020. Many students have changed the number of applications submitted due to the increase in application fees. For example, in the past, students would apply to three schools and pay $165, but this year they only want to apply for one.
Jovel further added that the fee increase is a burden to students.
“If (students) don’t have the fee waiver, they kind of just sit back in there waiting to decide, ‘Okay, I’m going to apply to three campuses, but that’s not affordable for me right now, so I can apply to one,’” she said. “That’s the $70. So they have to budget the $70. And when they get paid, there’s a lot of students that are coming through and are ready to apply, but they’re holding off, because they don’t want to do online learning.”
In fact, since March, when precautions for the pandemic kicked into high gear, many international students have returned to their home countries to take online classes, and some among them are seeking to transfer. It has been difficult for them to fill out the application whilst residing outside of the US.
Kimheng Peng, an international student from Cambodia, described the obstacles one faces while attempting to complete this process after having returned to one’s home country.
“Probably the resources,” Peng said. “Although there are online counselors, I don’t think there are as many effective resources and workshops online. I also feel motivated to try my best with the personal insight questions and personal statements.
Many students believed that they weren’t able to utilize the Transfer Center the way they could have if the campus was operating normally.
“The most challenging thing about applying for the transfer from outside the US is that I am not sure if the application process is right or not,” said Wataru Oshima, an international student from Japan. “If I were in the US, I could ask someone to check it easily.”
Oshima spoke positively about the deadline extension.
“Since I was required to finish assignments for the classes I am taking, I wouldn’t have had enough time to do the application process,” he said. “So the deadline extension helps me have time to do it.”