Transfer students come and go

Lindsay Adams

Majority of new undergraduates are transfer students according to new reasearch report

UMKC has reached a population of 15,492, with 8,740 students seeking their undergraduate degrees.

This includes recent fall enrollment data. How many of those students transferred to UMKC?

The Office of Institutional Research and Planning (IRAP), in its official fall 2011 student profile report, shows a total of 1,462 new fall 2011 undergraduate students have transferred from other colleges and universities with the most common being the University of Missouri- Columbia (Mizzou), Missouri Western University and Kansas University.

But how many students transfer away from UMKC?

The data is not readily available to the public.

Jorina Celeridad, who was an education student at UMKC, said, “I transferred because Mizzou was closer to home for the same amount of tuition.”

Why else do students transfer away? What are they not receiving at UMKC that causes them to leave the school?

Often, it is more personal than reflective of the school itself.

Biology major Jesus Hernandez, who transferred to Mizzou, said, “My main reason was the fact that I just wasn’t happy with what I was doing at UMKC. The whole music thing just wasn’t gonna cut it for me. So I decided to go to my second plan, which was dietetics, and Mizzou has a great program for that.”

Some believe that they transfer to Mizzou for the sports programs. While UMKC’s sports teams are Division I, they do not attract as many fans as the Missouri Tigers.

Some transfer students said that UMKC lacked a certain level of college atmosphere. Some don’t like the size; they found that it is too small.

“I missed a lot of my friends that went to Mizzou, and I saw how much fun they were having at a big school, and I compared it to UMKC, and they didn’t even compare,” Hernandez said.

Others find the location inconvenient. Often UMKC’s location is viewed as one of the draws to the campus, with the popular tag, “The city is our campus.” UMKC takes advantage of its urban placement and connectivity with the city around it. Many argue because of this the campus doesn’t really have as much traditional campus-life feel to it.

Business Marketing student Collin Schumacher who transferred to Missouri State University, said, “Basically I didn’t do my research before coming to UMKC and didn’t realize that it was a ‘commuter school’.”

This does change the social aspects and networking during the college years.

“I think that UMKC needs to own and rent more of the houses around campus to encourage more students to live there, along with some sort of Greek Row,” Schumacher said. “I really enjoy seeing so many people walking around campus this year, however it’s sad to say that that is due to the lack of parking – yet another issue that could be taken care of with more student housing around the campus.”

UMKC has received low rankings recently from The Washington Post, ranking the university 245 out of 258 surveyed universities, but normally low rankings are read by new undergrads rather than students who are already attending the university.

The reasons for transferring away are as diverse as the students themselves. There is not one clear-cut answer.

Christina Nassif, who was a psychology student before leaving, said, “I didn’t really transfer. I got out and then went in a completely different direction and am doing massage therapy. I just decided that what I was doing at UMKC wasn’t really making me happy, wasn’t what I was going to want to do my whole life and I wanted to figure out what was.”

The students also had suggestions for UMKC.

“I feel like the school has a lot of potential and has developed a great amount from the four years that I have been here,” Schumacher said. “But until the staff truly wants to help students rather than transferring them to someone else, and actually supports a ‘college life’ setting, it won’t happen.”

[email protected]