School transferring know-how

Reasons for transferring out of state can be anything from a purely academic standpoint to something as simple as a form of escape to live away from home and independently.

Many are often drawn solely into the social aspects of a university, such as sporting events, a large student body, the nightlife or the close proximity to ski resorts or famous beaches. Regardless of the motives, however, transfer students can agree that the process is a long and tedious one.

Most students are aware that not everything will transfer straight across, but most do not realize right off that as a direct result of this, a first semester at a new university might be filled with classes irrelevant to their majors.

Mercedi Bellini, a sophomore from Provo, who is currently in the process of applying to colleges in New York, said, “The last class I want to take just to get into a creative writing program is an extra math or science, especially when I am paying out-of-state tuition.”

Many students end up losing up to a full semester of credits because of transferring to another school, all while paying anywhere from $15,000 to $40,000 a year for out-of-state tuition.

So why is it that neighboring states with public universities who already have a somewhat similar curriculum cannot work together to implement a more universal system of general education requirements? When approached with this question, Shane Gunn, a UVU counselor, responded, “I will tell you exactly what it is — its egocentrism and nothing more. That is why it will never happen.”

Each major university seems to think that it sets the standard of general requirements. The three largest campuses in the United States are Arizona State, Ohio State and the University of Texas-Austin, where student enrollment is more than 50,000. With numbers like that, it is hard to argue that they do not set the standard to some degree.

However, Gunn said students have much more room than some would think to negotiate just how many credits they lose in the process. For example, students have the power to prove that one class is comparable with another if it was originally not accepted by the university the student is transferring to.

This can be solved simply by faxing the class syllabus to the university with a short outline of why the student feels the class meets the requirements for the credit. The biggest deterrent, however, is finishing an associate’s degree before transferring, as many general education requirements are honored as part of the degree.

In short, transferring does not have to be hard. The right questions just need to be asked.

For more information, visit Career & Academic Counseling in WB-147 or call (801) 863-8425.

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