For the first time in 10 years, transfer students no longer have to wait until fall to enroll at Davidson College. Interested students who apply by this November could be on campus as soon as the spring semester, which starts in January.
In the past, transfer students always began classes in the fall explained Director of Admission David Kraus.
"We have always received many requests from students who were interested in joining us in the middle of the academic year," said Kraus. "So after a lot of conversations and work with various campus departments, we came to the conclusion that we could, indeed, accommodate them."
Students who have successfully completed at least one full year of college course work are eligible to apply to Davidson. These are students who have experienced college life and know what works for them, said Kraus. They may have realized their original college was not a good fit-perhaps they are at a large school without access to faculty, or in an urban environment that is different than they expected.
Taylor Miller '17 transferred to Davidson after one year at a nearby university.
"I decided fairly early on in my freshman year that my previous university was not the right fit for me academically or socially," said Miller. "I wanted an academic environment that was more rigorous and one in which I felt like my academic goals more closely aligned with those of my peers."
Transferring to any school presents obvious challenges, added Miller, including making friends in an environment where groups may seem already established and feeling like a first-year student again.
"While I did find those challenges, they weren't ultimately as big or scary as I thought they might be. What I found was that people were genuinely excited to have a new face and they took me in with open arms," explained Miller.
According to Kraus, there's an unexpected benefit to being a transfer student at Davidson. These students come to the college as a small cohort, and the college is supportive through Residence Life, student activities and other campus programs. Miller experienced this, along with helpful peers, when she came to campus.
"When I first got here, I was placed in an orientation group with the rest of the transfers, so we all had the same adviser and he was definitely there for any of our questions," said Miller. "The orientation group gave me a connection to people who were in the same position as me."
Miller added if the opportunity to transfer mid-year was available to her at the time, she would have gladly taken advantage of it.
"I don't feel like my Davidson experience has really been any different than anyone who came freshman year. Unfortunately, I'll just only get to stay for three years instead of four," she said.
Competition for admission is selective, added Kraus. Successful applicants must have strong achievement at their current institution, as well as outstanding high school records. Character, integrity and potential contribution to the college community also are important in the selection process.
Students interested in enrolling for the 2016 spring semester should not wait to apply. The deadline by which all academic and financial applications must be submitted is Nov. 1. Students will be notified of the decision by the Admission Committee quickly, added Kraus.
"I'm really looking forward to welcoming this new group of talented students," said Kraus.