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Transfer student enrollment grows for ’06-’07

Laura Baumgartner | Thursday, August 17, 2006

As freshmen try to adjust to college life, 173 additional students on the Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s campuses face the same challenge – just at different schools than last year.

One hundred forty students are enrolled as transfer students to Notre Dame, while 33 are enrolled at Saint Mary’s.

For fall admission, Notre Dame received about 500 transfer applications, said Susan Joyce, associate director of admissions.

Of those, 175 were admitted and 140 are enrolled, she said.

“The admit and confirm numbers are higher than last year. We typically enroll about 125-130 students,” Joyce said.

One hundred nine of the transfer students are of sophomore status and 31 are junior status, she said.

Saint Mary’s also experienced an increase in transfer numbers, Vice President of Enrollment Management Dan Meyer said.

“Ninety-eight students applied for transfer admission this fall versus 90 in 2005 and 84 in 2004,” he said.

The College accepted 50 of the applicants and 33 have enrolled, he said.

Fifty percent of the enrolled students will transfer into the freshman class, 35 percent into the sophomore class and 15 percent into the junior class, Meyer said.

Meyer and Joyce both said that standards for accepting transfer students have remained the same throughout recent years. Basic requirements for transfer consideration at either institution include a minimum 3.0 GPA in previous college coursework.

The increase in the number of transfers combined with a larger freshman class has created issues with the availability of on-campus housing at both schools.

“Housing was tight this year, so we did encourage local students to live at home the first semester,” Meyer said. “Normally this is not a major issue, but the size of the first-year class pushed things to the limit this year.”

Limited on-campus housing has historically been an issue at Notre Dame and this year was no different.

“On-campus housing was especially limited for transfers this fall because of the large first year class and a larger percent of seniors choosing to stay on campus,” Joyce said. “Approximately 20 to 25 percent of the incoming transfer students have been offered on-campus housing at this point.”

The office of Residence Life and Housing has worked closely with transfer students and their families to solve housing issues, she said.

An online message board created exclusively for admitted students provided them with a way to “talk to each other about finding apartments and roommates,” Joyce said.

Transfer students interested in the University’s business or architecture programs faced another challenge when considering Notre Dame. Joyce said due to enrollment limitations the University stopped admitting transfer students into the Mendoza College of Business in the fall of 2005 and the “[school of] architecture has never admitted many transfer students.”

“It’s been several years since [the school of architecture has] had room to admit transfers,” she said. “[The school is] limited by the space [available] in Rome during the third year.”

Despite the unavoidable obstacles transfers face, the University works to provide students with a smooth transition by offering a special transfer orientation.

Joyce said the Notre Dame orientation is organized and run by 20 current students.

The orientation itinerary includes activities that provide transfers with opportunities to meet, such as a sub sandwich party in LaFortune Student Center, lakeside bonfire and bus trip to the Warren Dunes. There are also events planned to inform students about campus life including the mandatory information fair and the transfer information panel where students can ask questions.

Transfer students at Saint Mary’s are not provided with a specialized orientation, but are invited to participate in the first-year student summer orientation program if they are transferring in with less than sophomore-level standing, Meyer said.

“I think we need to consider a special transfer orientation session to better meet the unique needs of these students,” he said.