Regents hear report on U transfers

Transfer enrollment increased for the 2009 academic year.

by Taryn Wobbema

The number of enrolled transfer students increased on each of the University of MinnesotaâÄôs campuses this fall, according to a report presented at a Board of RegentsâÄô Faculty, Staff and Student Affairs Committee meeting Thursday. Robert McMaster, vice provost and dean of undergraduate education, said the University strategically set out to enroll more transfers this year because it was predicted that a smaller pool of first-years would seek admission. Transfer enrollment increased by 807 students from 2008 to 2009. This accounts for the entire University system. McMaster said the projection was wrong and first-year enrollment actually increased this year, taking in 251 more students system-wide than last year. Minnesota State Colleges and Universities contributed 43 percent of transfers to the Twin Cities campus this year. Community college transfers were the largest group, comprising 36 percent. The Twin Cities campus also enrolled transfer students from other University campuses, the University of Wisconsin system and Minnesota private colleges. Transfer students typically enter the University with between 30 and 59 credits, according to the report. Forty-four percent enter with more than 60. However, even though the majority of transfers enter as sophomores, only 23.1 percent graduate after two years at the University. In order to receive a University diploma, the student must complete his or her final 30 credits here, McMaster said. The report also indicated the retention rate of transfer students is increasing but is not as high as first-year rates. The most recent data shows 90.6 percent of first-years remained at the University for their second year, while 87.5 percent of transfers stayed. Administrators pointed out several ways to improve the transition for transfer students, citing better course access, encouraging more time with academic advisers and providing more information about campus resources. Such strategies would improve the graduation rate of those students, administrators said.