This fall, all four members of The Campus Ledger’s editorial board plan to transfer to four different universities. I want to share my experience in the transfer process as well as the insight of my peers.
I had visited Kansas State a few times before I decided to finish my degree there. Manhattan is definitely in the middle of nowhere, the perfect distance away for college. The drive is a little under two hours from Kansas City, so it’s easy to go home, but it still feels “away.” The campus is full of old, stone buildings and covered in large trees, and the city is a nice balance between a small town and the modern aspects of Johnson County. I will say, it’s also nice to go where there is a solid chunk of friends from your high school class.
The earlier you start the transfer process the easier, but I started last October and it’s been pretty smooth for me. I highly recommend going to transfer student day and having your transcript and credit equivalents printed out. They like it when you look prepared. Also, sign up for an enrollment day. It’s not that hard to take a day and go to Manhattan, and you will feel more confident about your schedule in a new place.
While K-State is clearly the right place for me, managing editor Margaret Mellott does not like the size of the campus, and is headed to Emporia State.
“I like the small town feel, because you have places like K-State, which is technically [in] a small town, but it’s a big college,” Mellott said. “Johnson County Community College has more students than Emporia does, so it will be a switch from larger classes to probably around the same size or smaller classes which is going to be kind of odd. It’s a very small college town and it’s not near any big cities.”
Mellott also suggests that communication with the school should start as soon as possible.
“I did it kind of late. I say kind of late, I procrastinated and put it off until the beginning of February or end of January, but I did hear back fairly quickly,” Mellott said.
As there is no transfer agreement between them and the college, Mellott has emailed a professor at Emporia State many times to make sure her classes will count over there. While there is with UMKC, editor-in-chief Nell Gross had to take the same type of initiative.
“You will probably have to do a lot by yourself,” Gross said. “Being patient is also important, because I got really impatient waiting for my application, and waiting for my transcripts to get there, I didn’t know how long it would take. I think it’s also important to know somebody who goes to your transfer school, because that’s really helpful. They can give you tips. I feel like I know a lot more about the school and what I’m walking into just knowing people who go there.”
After about a week of not hearing from the school, Gross decided to drive to the school to turn in her scholarship application form, only to find that the office had already closed.
“I drove all the way there, and it was awful,” Gross said. “It was closed, so I had to email somebody. Everyone has been emailing me, and sending a lot of orientation day information.”
In an effort to be free from student debt, Gross decided to go somewhere local.
“I chose UMKC because it is cheaper than KU and also closer, and I appreciate that,” Gross said. “As somebody who is trying as hard as they possibly can and so far, it’s looking like I’m going to be successful to not take any loans out whatsoever, it’s helping me be successful with that. It’s nice. It’s pretty over there. I’m not a rural person, I don’t want to live out in the middle of nowhere.”
While Gross likes the idea of an inexpensive school close to home, KU won news editor Kim Harms with its well-known journalism program.
“I chose KU because of the outstanding journalism program they have,” Harms said. “Another reason I chose to go to KU is all the classes I took at [the college] will automatically transfer to KU. Lawrence is only 45 minutes from my hometown of Kansas City, MO, so that is definitely a plus.”
Harms loves the environment and look of the campus. The school seems very hospitable to her, but she has also had a hard transfer experience.
“The admission process to KU was quick as it only took three days,” Harms said. “The admission process for their journalism school is going on two weeks since I have not heard back from them yet. I think the admissions process is the easy part. Figuring out financial aid, creating a tuition plan and enrolling in classes is the stressful. I’m planning to live off-campus in Overland Park, so applying for an apartment and planning my commute is adding stress as well.”
Although transferring to a four-year college is difficult, spending a year or two at the college has made it worth it to us. Saving money and avoiding large lecture halls are perks only offered by a community college. If you start early, and keep communicating, the transfer process will get done.