Out-of-State (NC) to California: Moving to CA, take a CC, then go to a 4-year university

How can I get into a California community college from an out of state student? I am in freshman year of high school by the way. Give me advice and the steps I would need to take. I have a strong desire to go to California, not just for Hollywood or the top schools, for everything really. I am Mexican and I am planning on studying hard but since my family doesn’t have enough money I want to go to a community college then transfer all in California.

There is no financial aid for out of state students at community colleges, the IC’s and the CSU’s in California. You will be full pay. Attending a cc in California will not get you in stste tuition.

If you under the age of 24, your state residency will be determined based on where your parents reside unless you become independent from your parents meaning no financial help.

You need to be independent, show you pay rent, get a driver’s license, plan to make CA your permanent home etc… and live in CA for 366 days prior to your residency determination to get in-state tuition at any CC or 4 year university.

Also if you are coming to CA for the purposes of education, you will be paying OOS fees throughout your college career.

You are young so my advice is complete HS in NC. Get excellent grades with a strong HS course rigor, do well on the ACT/SAT exams if required, find a passion in your EC’s and then apply to some private colleges in California where you have a chance for some merit aid that could help with your college expenses.

As stated above, any California public university CCC’s, UC’s and Cal states will not offer you any financial aid. This aid is reserved for in-state CA residents.

Read through this CC discussion for a reality check: https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/california-colleges/1802004-so-you-want-to-come-to-california-for-college.html

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I get the glamour of CA, but you are in an exceptional position where you are: NC has a super college system which is in many ways now better than the CA system*: less expensive, fewer “impacted” majors, less crowded, and some excellent teaching.

*don’t @me! I know how strong some of the UCs are, but from the pov of your typical UG student, NC has a great set of options

Getting into a community college is easy, since they are open admission. Of course, you would then have to do well to be able to transfer to a four year school.

Paying for it is a different story. While California public community colleges and universities are relatively affordable for California residents, they do not give need-based financial aid to non-residents. Being a California resident for a college student right out of high school basically depends on you and your parents living in California for some reason other than educational purposes (there is also a provision if you graduate high school in California with three years of attendance).

Realistically, unless you and your parents move to California while you are in high school, it is unlikely that you will be able to gain California residency for tuition purposes as a college student right out of high school.

The California post secondary public educational system (CCC, CSU, UC) is simply the best in the world when considering the breadth of majors, affordability, and rankings, including UCLA ranked consistently in the Top 20 worldwide and Cal ranked Top 5-7 globally. No other public system is close.

(And California’s public and private colleges taken together offer students and parents the very best college and university selections globally.)

@CalAlumandDad, given your CC name. your fervent support for the third level system in CA is understandable- and it is an excellent system. However it has its challenges, and there are other states whose public systems are indeed “close”.

The OP is in-state for NC, which is regularly identified as a state with a strong CC/State/Uni system. The best of the CA system is indeed better than the best of the UNC system- but once you get past UCB, UCLA and CalTech, the next layer is entirely comparable (except that the NC system has better student-faculty ratios and no ‘impacted’ majors0. So, from the point of view of the bulk of students who are inside the bell curve, for an in-state NC student the UC system is not 2.5x better than the NC system- but it is 2.5x the price

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OP notes s/he is Mexican but not what his/her current status is in the US. If undocumented, it appears s/he would not be eligible for instate tuition in NC. Wondering if that is part of the perceived attraction of CA (before realizing that the residency issue mattered).

Oh, I agree with you - he should try and get into UNC (excellent) or one of the other good schools in UNC. The cost differential is too great for OOS, unless a student’s family is financially positioned where cost is not a factor.

If the OP gets into Berkeley or UCLA as a freshman, I imagine s/he has a decent shot at one of the elite private schools who will give him money. And s/he would have a good shot at UNC with a good scholarship. Cali will always be here for a career.

I would not agree that after Cal and UCLA (Caltech is a private school), the UC/CSU system is entirely comparable to the NC system. San Diego, Santa Barbara, Davis, Irvine are Top 40. Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (a CSU campus) is an excellent STEM school - really a de facto UC campus.

While “impacted” is a California (mostly CSU) specific term for capacity limited, a similar situation exists for some majors at some NC public universities. For example, at NCSU, students intending an engineering major or CS need to apply to and be admitted to the engineering division. They must later go through a competitive secondary admission process based on college courses and grades to get into their majors, although there is at least one major that can admit students down to 2.0 college GPA (appears to be biological (agricultural) and construction that can do this).
https://www.engr.ncsu.edu/academics/undergrad/coda/
https://www.engr.ncsu.edu/academics/undergrad/coda-calculator/

Absolutely, @ucbalumnus- and the line between ‘unable to meet demand’ and a second selection process (seen most often in engineering and some business programs at lots of schools) is fuzzy enough that the UC system lumps them all together. What is clear is that the UC system has capacity challenges that are different from the NC system.

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