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SMC Extends Transfer Streak to 31 Years

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By Lookout Staff

November 22, 2021 -- Santa Monica College (SMC) has been the number one transfer college to the University of California (UC) system since a gallon of gas in Los Angeles was $1.14.

That was 31 years ago and Motorola had just released the first "flip" phone.

To keep the streak intact, SMC sent 1,186 students to UC campuses -- 240 more than the second-ranked feeder college, according to 2020-2021 transfer data recently released the UC Information Center.

The school also continued to lead in minority transfers, sending 58 Black and 228 Latino students to the UC system, school officials said.

It also remained the leading transfer college to the University of Southern California (USC) with 129 alumni enrolled at the school and to Loyola Marymount University with 111, according to SMC officials.

“News of SMC’s transfer standing is each year highly anticipated throughout the college,” said SMC Superintendent/President Dr. Kathryn E. Jeffery.

“And again, we are elated to celebrate the accomplishment of SMC students propelled by their own motivation and potential, and nurtured by a focused ethic of care from Santa Monica College’s world-class faculty, counselors, and staff.

"Even a pandemic did not deter our student-centered community from fulfilling the college’s mission—ensuring that students transfer to their dream colleges and universities,” Jeffery said.

SMC also remained the top feeder west of the Mississippi to the Ivy League Columbia University.

Sixteen SMC students were admitted to Columbia's School of General Studies for the Spring 2021 semester, and 25 for Fall 2021, school officials said.

SMC offers Transfer Admission Guarantees (TAGs) to several universities for students who meet specific requirements, school officials said.

Its Scholars Program prepares students for "rigorous upper-division coursework through smaller classes taught by highly recommended faculty," along with intensive counseling and support, officials said.

“There is no doubt that Santa Monica College has the most hardworking, dedicated and resilient students anywhere because despite the pandemic our students have managed to continue their education and pursue their goal of transfer," said SMC Transfer Center Faculty Lead Sara Nieves-Lucas.

"It is an honor to work with such a dedicated team -- also known as 'Team Transfer' -- whose goal was to ease the stress caused by the pandemic, creating workshops that kept our students on track, ” Nieves-Lucas said.

For more information about SMC’s Transfer Center and its services, please visit or email

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