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New students arrive

Meg Mirshak | Friday, January 25, 2008

Notre Dame added nine transfer students, and Saint Mary’s gained 15 new students as members of the spring transfer class.

The Notre Dame Office of Admissions received 95 applications from students seeking to be admitted as a spring transfer student, said Susan Joyce, the associate director of admissions. Although juniors can apply to transfer to the University, all nine students admitted for the spring semester were sophomores.

This year, the University’s spring transfer class was unusually small, Joyce said, adding that the normal number of spring transfer students is typically around 18 students.

“[The Office of Admissions] does not see this as a trend,” Joyce said. “Sometimes the application pool is different.”

A transfer student must complete one-half of his total degree requirements at the University. The number of juniors applying for transfer during the spring semester is usually less than the fall semester. But, occasionally, the Office of Admissions will receive an application from a first-semester junior who is off the normal four-year college sequence, Joyce said.

Last summer, the admissions committee evaluated 572 fall-semester applicants. Of the 159 students admitted, 87 percent were sophomores.

At Saint Mary’s, the number of incoming students is similar to what the Admissions Office has seen in past spring semesters, said Summer Runyan, the assistant director and campus visit coordinator of the Admissions Office.

Saint Mary’s evaluates transfer applicants on the qualifications that the student has completed two consecutive semesters of transferable college work. The applicant must have earned a 3.0 grade point average, Runyan said.

The Notre Dame sophomore class experienced a net gain of students after gaining fall and spring transfer students, Joyce said. Transfer students register for classes after returning students and enter a lottery for on-campus housing.

All nine spring transfer students at Notre Dame obtained on-campus housing, and the remaining fall transfer students who were placed on a waiting list in the fall received on-campus housing assignments this semester, Joyce said.

Orientation sessions were held for transfer students at both Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s. Twelve students attended the Saint Mary’s orientation, which included information sessions introducing students to the campus and technology use at Saint Mary’s.

At Notre Dame, transfer students attended an abbreviated schedule of normal orientation events. The Transfer Orientation Committee, chaired by previous spring -semester transfer students Ashley Weiss and Colin Ethier, planned two days of activities beginning the Sunday before classes began.

Twelve previous transfer students were on the committee.

“[The members of the committee] go out of their way to welcome the new students because they know what it is like to transfer colleges,” Joyce said.

On the first day of transfer orientation, separate panel discussions were held for students and parents, followed by a dinner in the Main Building. Transfer students and their families also joined University President Father John Jenkins for a Mass in the Log Chapel.