College woos peer-school transfer students

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March 6, 2007

2:32 PM

p. “You’ll be more than just a number.”

p. It looks like an advertisement on one of the pamphlets distributed by the admissions office, but it was one of sophomore Jasmine Lister’s actual reasons for transferring to the College.

p. Reasons for transferring to the College from an equally or more academically challenging university like Lister’s, who transferred from Tufts University this spring, seem less obvious than those of someone who is upgrading their academic atmosphere. However, the reasons read just like the admissions office pamphlets: it’s a great deal, professors are dedicated and the student body is involved.

p. Senior Chrissy Adkison, who transferred from Johns Hopkins two springs ago, was looking for stronger classes outside the sciences, among other reasons.

p. “Many of the social sciences and humanities departments were not very strong [at Hopkins],” she said.

p. Sophomore Raissa Dalusung, who transferred this semester from Wake Forest University, values the small classes here, like Wake Forest. Lister, who was trying to decide between the College or the University of Virginia, felt she would benefit from more attention from professors. In addition, she felt the “preppy” atmosphere of U.Va. played a role in her decision.

p. But transfers considered the student body beyond the basis of preppy style. Talking to friends from the College while at JHU, Adkison felt she was not getting the same general experience.

p. “I was very unhappy with the undergraduate experience I was having at Hopkins. The overall student body was not very interested in student activities or volunteering outside of the classroom,” she said.

p. Talking to friends, she realized she lacked connections with the student community and admired her friends’ fun traditions, school spirit and closeness with professors.

p. “They had great rapport with their professors, were involved in research and got tons of personal attention. The JHU body was very disconnected because everyone was so focused on completing their engineering degrees or competing with each other in the pre-med program,” Adkinson said. “Also, juniors and seniors had to live off-campus because there was not enough on-campus housing. This also led to a greater disconnect.”

p. Junior Stephanie Shaffer transferred from Colby College, which has only about 2,000 students. She transferred from Colby in search of a larger student body.

p. “I transferred because I was looking for a prestigious school with a somewhat larger student body that would offer me the same close-knit relationship between students and professors while also offering an even broader range of extracurricular opportunities,” she said.

p. Sometimes a school does not fit the student’s expectations. Dalusung realized at Wake Forest what she did and did not like in a school, she said.

p. “I’ve heard students say [that their former schools] are just not their best fit,” Associate Dean of Admissions Kim VanDeusen said.
Financial reasons also play a role; as a resident of Virginia, Dalusung felt she would benefit from saving money with in-state tuition without a drastic change in her college experience, since Wake Forest and the College are academically comparable and similar in size.

p. “I felt like I was paying too much for the experience I was getting at Tufts,” Lister said. “Definitely in-state tuition was a great reason for me to transfer. Why pay close to 50 grand a year to go to a school you do not like, when you can pay in-state and still get an excellent education?”

p. The College, often referred to as a “public ivy,” makes sense for residents of Virginia, but it is also worth it to Adkison, who ran into trouble with her Hopkins finances.

p. “At first I had a full ride to Hopkins, but they changed my financial package halfway through the year. I was upset most by how the administration treated me; they acted like it was my fault somehow, and it was bothering them that I was asking for their help,” Adkison said.

p. Despite the fact that she will have some debt after graduating, she does not regret coming to the College, she said.

p. Some had not considered the College when applying as seniors in high school, such as Shaffer, who originally looked at small private colleges, only to end up wanting something bigger. Her father’s friend, a successful judge, suggested the College to her, she said.

p. On the other hand, the College was Adkison’s number one choice in the beginning of her college search, but she decided it would be nice to go out of state.

p. Regardless of the reason for their transfer, they all seem to agree that they made the right choice. They were appreciative of the welcoming student body and transfer orientation program for the transition.

p. “I thought the transition would be harder than it was. Orientation definitely helped make the transition smoother because everyone was really friendly and genuine,” Dalusung said.

p. The workload has been an easy adjustment as well.

p. “Work-wise the transition was easy because the work load at Wake Forest is just as tough,” Dalusung said. “I can definitely say that although Colby offered me a top-notch education, the education provided at the College of William and Mary is equally if not more challenging and intriguing,” Shaffer said.

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