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Doing Research as a community college student at a local University

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  • Thread starter TheKracken
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  • #1
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Main Question or Discussion Point

I just found out if I want to transfer to a UC I will have to take 3 years at my local community college. Is it reasonable to go talk to professors at the local university (Cal Poly SLO) and see if I could do research with them? I do not really have much to offer them other than a dedicated student. What do you guys think? Waste of time?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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I just found out if I want to transfer to a UC I will have to take 3 years at my local community college.
Why? Do you lack a high school diploma? Do you mean transfer in as a junior?

Is it reasonable to go talk to professors at the local university (Cal Poly SLO) and see if I could do research with them?
Can't hurt. Why do you think you want to do research with them?
 
  • #3
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I do lack a high school diploma actually, I have a equivalency that is the exact same thing though.
I want to do research with them just for the experience and so my applications look better. Also, community college is extremely boring and want a way to help me not get depressed by it. There is absolutely no social life here and very few people that I would consider to be intelligent and care.
 
  • #4
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I do lack a high school diploma actually, I have a equivalency that is the exact same thing though.
What stops you from applying to a four year college now if you think that's the right thing for you?

I want to do research with them just for the experience and so my applications look better. Also, community college is extremely boring and want a way to help me not get depressed by it. There is absolutely no social life here and very few people that I would consider to be intelligent and care.
Are there any local companies that might coordinate with your CC to arrange an internship? That's one way to do research. You have to be proactive on stuff like this.

If you are intelligent and care, you can likely find your way into a four year college now. But it helps immensely to know what you want so that you can articulate it clearly. If you're good, there's a good chance of financial help. Especially if you're both good and poor.
 
  • #5
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Well first of all the diploma I have only has a score (it was a test) and does not qualify me for university So here I am at community college. I am also extremely poor and hope to make good grades. So I should get a good amount of money for school, I would hope anyways. I could transfer out of here after a year to a place like ASU of University of Alaska Fairbanks but the out of state tuition is ridiculous for ASU, while Fairbanks I would only have to pay 1.5 times as much as in state. I just literally have no money and have no idea how loans work. I can not barrow from parents as then make 0$ being on SSI.
 
  • #6
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Well first of all the diploma I have only has a score (it was a test) and does not qualify me for university
Why do you think that? Maybe you should talk to Wes Beach about his approach.

So here I am at community college. I am also extremely poor and hope to make good grades.
Sounds reasonable. If you work hard and get good grades you'll have a lot of choices. And nobody will care about what may or may not have happened in high school. If you are very poor, then your best bet is to go to a highly selective private school like Princeton or Caltech. It will cost you less than Cal State due to generous need-based aid. Of course that requires that you be really good and make the most of what you're doing. If that's shooting too high, you can make the same thing work at lower tier universities. Why don't you see if any of your teachers has a spot for an intern in their local company (if you have teachers who come from local industry)? Or ask your career counselors at your school?
 
  • #7
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For ASU you would also only pay 1.5 times the in-state tuition under the Western Undergraduate Exchange. Still more than Alaska but they have some solid departments there.
 
  • #8
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I was looking into it, and it says that it is only for certain majors and certain colleges they accept the WUE tuition rate. I am not sure which campus is the best in regards to physics at ASU, do you have any idea? Do you go there? If so could you please message me and tell me more about the program and if you transferred there? Especially from california.
 
  • #9
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Well I found this https://webapp4.asu.edu/programs/t5/programs/Keyword/wue/undergrad/false?init=false&nopassive=true which leads me to believe that physics would not be covered by WUE. I don't go there but I did go out-of-state from California to a school with WUE and nearly every major is covered by WUE except for arts majors and maybe a few others. So I'm surprised.

Anyways I'm more familiar with their astrophysics program, which split off from the physics department somewhat recently. But I imagine that is moot now since they don't have WUE for physics. But I'm pretty sure physics is only offered on one of their campuses, I don't know which one though.

In general, many state schools will have strong enough physics programs, it then becomes more up to you to be successful. Cal Poly SLO would be a fine choice actually.
 
  • #10
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If you are very poor, then your best bet is to go to a highly selective private school like Princeton or Caltech
The transfer rate for Caltech is around 1 or 2%, and you can not even transfer to Princeton. I would not call that a good bet.
 
  • #11
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The transfer rate for Caltech is around 1 or 2%, and you can not even transfer to Princeton. I would not call that a good bet.
That's why you apply as a freshman. Not hard to do. There's little advantage to being a transfer student in any official way. Credit and placement is available to freshmen with appropriate history.
 
  • #12
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Do I have to submit high school transcripts as a freshman? I wouldn't mind going in as a freshman, but my high school grades are not nearly as good as my college grades.
 
  • #13
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Do I have to submit high school transcripts as a freshman? I wouldn't mind going in as a freshman, but my high school grades are not nearly as good as my college grades.
Every school has their own way of doing things. Read their web sites. If you did not graduate from high school, and so you're not relying on a high school diploma, there's less chance you'll need to provide a transcript. Did you look at Wes Beach's site? He can give you lots of pointers on how to deal with unusual paths to college.

In any case, you should try applying now in order to create options for yourself. My impression is that you you have lots of misinformation baked into your expectations, and are thus limiting your options severely. Decide what you want and then keep asking people how you can get it.
 
  • #14
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That's why you apply as a freshman. Not hard to do.
Princeton's website claims it does not accept applications from people who have already started at another college or university. Is this incorrect?
 
  • #15
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That is correct (just looked it up) I am not looking into getting into an amazing university, I just want to get in and get to a different school as soon as possible. I hate community College so so very much.
 
  • #16
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Princeton's website claims it does not accept applications from people who have already started at another college or university. Is this incorrect?
It all depends. Usually if you haven't graduated high school you can take all the college classes you like without jeopardizing your ability to apply as a freshman. Also it depends on how you have enrolled in the other college, whether you are a "degree-seeking" student. And it also depends on how they decide to treat you. Princeton says "Any student who has graduated from secondary school and enrolled as a full-time degree candidate at another college or university is considered a transfer applicant and is not eligible for undergraduate admission." In the present case, no high school graduation should mean this clause does not apply.

There are many exceptional kids who have spent years taking college classes, then decide to apply to highly selective schools as freshmen, sometimes because better scholarship money is available or sometimes just because they want the full experience. Sometimes they need to get such schools to waive their stated requirements. Or they get their previous college(s) to reclassify them away from being a degree candidate retroactively. Presto! They're eligible again. It's mostly bureaucratic BS designed to let them say no when they want to. If they want to say yes, then magically the problems go away.
 

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