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Guaranteed Sophomore Transfer Admission Offers

TomSrOfBostonTomSrOfBoston Registered User Posts: 15,599 Senior Member
Reading through CC I have noticed that at least two schools: Boston University and, surprisingly, Cornell University offer some applicants who are denied admission as freshman guaranteed admission as sophomore transfers, The student must enroll at another college and maintain at least a 3.0 GPA and there may be other conditions.

This practice seems unfair both to the school the student attends freshman year and to the students themselves. For the freshman college it will lower their retention and graduation rates. But more importantly for the student it could make for a difficult freshman year. They will enter a college with one foot already out the door. They would be less likely to become involved in campus activities etc. And if they tell their dormmates/classmates that they will be transferring to a "better" school they may have difficulty making friends.

Also no one has posted about the financial aid aspect of such offers. Are they given a tentative financial aid package at the time they are given the guaranteed transfer option or do they have to apply for financial aid at the time they decide to take the school up on the transfer option? in the latter case transfer applicants tend to get less generous financial aid packages at many schools. Or maybe these guaranteed transfer options are only made to full or near full pay applicants?

Any thoughts/experiences?
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Replies to: Guaranteed Sophomore Transfer Admission Offers

  • TomSrOfBostonTomSrOfBoston Registered User Posts: 15,599 Senior Member
    Thanks! BU and Cornell do not specify what school the student must attend to be able to transfer.
  • cnp55cnp55 Registered User Posts: 3,800 Senior Member
    edited April 2016
    My son did the GT to Cornell. The trick is really to pick a freshman year school that the student would be happy to attend for 4 years. My son chose a freshman year school that he LOVED. Transferring was a difficult decision. Ultimately it was his choice. We had the big discussion and I went to bed thinking he was staying at freshman year school. With one son graduated from Cornell, I knew what he was passing up. He woke me up at midnight to say he'd changed his mind, he'd be going to Cornell in September. (Apparently he talked to some friends both from freshman year school, high school, and Cornell and made his decision from those discussions.)

    Transferring in wasn't easy -- although Cornell gives a lot of support to the sophomore transfers -- and he will tell you that he'd do it again. Of course we'd have preferred freshman admittance -- but that didn't happen.

    ETA: Not sure how many people really take Cornell up on their GT. Or how many GT offers are given out. My kid did say if we were on the Mass Pike headed to freshman movein in Boston and Cornell called saying he was off the waitlist we would **turn the car around**. He was pretty committed to being "high above Cayuga's waters" where another kid might just have moved on.
  • gettingschooledgettingschooled Registered User Posts: 1,951 Senior Member
    University of Texas has the Coordinated Admission Program (satellite campus and a 3.2 GPA required) and the PACE program (partial Austin community college and partial UT Austin enrollment) with a GPA requirement)

    Texas A&M has Blinn Team and PSA- similar programs to the UT programs

    Texas Tech has a program with a community college

    I agree- the students have to either be willing to stay at the freshman school if they don't make the grades or have a plan to transfer to a third school if things don't work out.

    The A&M and UT programs guarantee transfer only to certain majors at the main campus which is another big mark against them. Because the programs require certain classes as well as grades, AP credits often go to waste. And financial aid is a big problem for these students.

    But if you really want to go to those schools- there is a way to get there and your diploma doesn't say you spent freshman year somewhere else.
  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan Registered User Posts: 12,664 Senior Member
    USC has a program like this as well. I believe all Trojan legacies get at least this option if denied.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 76,674 Senior Member
    This practice seems unfair both to the school the student attends freshman year and to the students themselves. For the freshman college it will lower their retention and graduation rates. But more importantly for the student it could make for a difficult freshman year.

    Do these programs at private universities allow the student to start at a low cost community college where a common expectation for "academically oriented" students is to transfer to a four year school? If so, they may not be conceptually different from the programs at public universities which say "start at a community college, complete the listed prerequisites for the public university and your intended major, get a GPA >= ____, and you will be admitted as a transfer student".
  • LionsMumLionsMum Registered User Posts: 153 Junior Member
    I think these programs can be a great way for a student to graduate from their dream college. But I think, like so many things, they are actually designed to pad the school's admissions statistics. The stats are only derived from the freshman fall admits -- not spring admits, or later. What this says to me is that the schools know the later admit kids are qualified and can do the work -- especially for spring admit schools like USC or Berkeley, where the kid will only be starting a few months later -- but that they want a higher GPA or SAT score to have for their selectivity ranking.
  • cnp55cnp55 Registered User Posts: 3,800 Senior Member
    Yes, Cornell allowed the prospective transfers to start at a cc if they wanted. We didn't feel that was the best choice for our son and it negates the option of choosing a freshman school that could work for four years.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 76,674 Senior Member
    LionsMums wrote:
    But I think, like so many things, they are actually designed to pad the school's admissions statistics. The stats are only derived from the freshman fall admits -- not spring admits, or later. What this says to me is that the schools know the later admit kids are qualified and can do the work -- especially for spring admit schools like USC or Berkeley, where the kid will only be starting a few months later -- but that they want a higher GPA or SAT score to have for their selectivity ranking.

    I suspect spring admissions is more motivated by capacity considerations, although schools gaming the rankings may see a small benefit. If all students start in the fall, then the fall semester will have higher enrollment than the spring semester, because students who graduate a semester early or late usually have one more fall semester than spring semester. This can result in overcrowding in the fall and/or unused or wasted capacity in the spring. Having some students start in the spring balances out the enrollment. Note that Dartmouth's D-plan appears to be similarly motivated.
  • bluebayoubluebayou Registered User Posts: 26,674 Senior Member
    edited April 2016
    Spring admits also can fill empty beds for those on study-abroad during that term.

    Dartmouth started its D-Plan as a way to add females without building new dorms and without reducing the number of men admitted. In essence, they use the some of the 'empty' campus space over the summer for a full summer quarter, which any student can attend. (Dartmouth is on a quarter, or 10-week term, system.0
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 76,097 Senior Member
    Back in 2006 my daughter decided to go to Santa Clara University. University of South Carolina wrote her, that she would be able to attend the following year without reapplying. Her spot would be there for her.

    Not the same as a guaranteed transfer...but a spot nevertheless for the following year if she had chosen to do so.
  • CADREAMINCADREAMIN Registered User Posts: 5,458 Senior Member
    edited April 2016
    USC's is called Trojan Transfer Plan. It is offered to kids with good applications that otherwise would likely get in, but didn't perhaps because they applied to a competitive major/school, so they didn't make the cut freshman year. These typically high achievers replace the ones that drop out/transfer from USC after freshman year. Some start abroad at universities that do have a guaranteed path to USC and others attend another 4 year in U.S. While people think it is a legacy program, some are, but non-legacy students are also offered TTP. The TTP students are very very likely (almost but not guaranteed) to get in if they maintain a 3.8 freshman year. Difference in a normal transfer kid applying is the obvious advantage to get accepted as a TTP applicant, but also, USC meets with the TTP applicant in the summer before freshman year, to go over what courses to take at your other school that meet their requirements best. They do not do this for a "regular" transfer, I assume that is a manpower issue, but they are pretty strict on that and just refer "regular" transfers to the website for info.

    Best plan as mentioned is to always attend another 4 year you would want to stay at and hopefully fall in love with it, but you have a backup plan (but not a guarantee) with the TTP if you don't.
  • bluebayoubluebayou Registered User Posts: 26,674 Senior Member
    edited April 2016
    While people think it is a legacy program,...

    The origin of the program was specifically for legacies, but has been expanded to everyone. However, the grades needed for the preferential transfer -- not guaranteed -- seems to be all over the lot, perhaps due to the different departmentaal requirements (arts and sciences vs. business, for example).
  • LBad96LBad96 Registered User Posts: 3,499 Senior Member
    Honestly, I think it's an absolute farce. It robs students of the chance to enjoy their freshman year and it robs the freshman year institution of retention rates. It's totally unfair, and I absolutely would not have accepted such an offer.
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