When Lauren McGuire first applied as a junior transfer student to UNC, she thought all she needed in a university was friendly people, warm weather and lacrosse.
What McGuire didn’t anticipate was the frustration associated with trying to graduate in eight semesters. McGuire, like many of the other 800 undergraduate transfer students, is unable to enroll in classes she needs.
She left the College of Lake County in Chicago with 41 credits, but UNC only accepted a portion of those credits.
“When they put us in first-year programs and classes, it doesn’t compensate what we need,” she said. “As an out-of-state student, I’m paying a ridiculous amount of money in tuition for a University that’s not accepting a lot of my previous classes.”
A 2010 report conducted by the University found that only 44 percent of junior transfer students at UNC are able to graduate in eight semesters.
But administrators still say that UNC has invested a lot in the success of transfer students in the past few years despite campuswide budget cuts.
“The University has increased their attention to transfer student retention and graduation,” said Cynthia Demetriou, director for retention for the Undergraduate Education Office.
“While there have been budget cuts that are affecting all students, we’ve been investing a lot in our transfer students,” Demetriou said. “We’ve started programs to raise awareness of these students and encourage their success.”
These initiatives are not likely to be affected by budget cuts because of efforts by the University to reinforce the importance of transfer students’ graduation rates, said Lee May, associate dean and director of academic advising.