Exploring Sewanee’s transfer student process

By Luke Gair
Executive Staff

Sending in the enrollment deposit as a rising college student dissolves the ambiguity concerning what lies ahead for graduating seniors. For some though, indecision arises after some time, whether it’s after their first semester or several years in. The transfer process might present itself as a one-and-done deal, but with moving schools also introduces the task of uprooting from friends, campus involvement, and a familiar environment.

The transfer process at the University possesses a much smaller pool of applicants when considering the student population size. Ryan Poole (C’17) notes how the Office of Admissions  “sees transfer applicants every year… but not every student who looks into the process actually follows through with an application. As you might expect, it’s much more common for students to transfer in the fall than in the spring.”

He went on to note how the application process for transfer students is “slightly different than for first-year students.” Consistent with the first-year process is requirement for students to be in solid “academic and social standing with their current or most recently attended college.”

Although Sewanee sees its fair share of students who choose to leave the Domain, those who transfer into the University face culture shock, difficulty with transfer credits, and an enigmatic social scene. Courtney Boucher (C’21) said that before arriving as a student, “I had this idea in my head that Sewanee was exactly the opposite of the University of Vermont.”

“That worried me because although I did not like the academics there, I could easily relate to the students,” she continued. “Once I got on Sewanee’s campus and talked to just a handful of people, I realized this idea was wrong and that really I would find people with similar interests to me in no time.”

Boucher added that one of her most prominent issues surrounding the experience as a transfer student includes frustrations surrounding registration. The way her credits transfered meant registering for classes as first semester freshman, even though “I took a full course load all of last year. Then, this semester I found out I need overrides for two necessary classes because of how the prerequisites I took transferred incorrectly.” Coming in as a second-year student, she noticed a need for the University to “receive and act more on student feedback in general.”

Poole emphasized how he does his best to “make myself available to them if they want to talk more in depth about what’s influencing their decision to leave.”

“I give them the resources they need but also do my best to make myself available to them if they want to talk more in depth about what’s influencing their decision to leave,” Poole said. “We’re a small community here at Sewanee so it really doesn’t matter what your role is on the Mountain – we’re all here to make sure all our students have the best college experience they can.”