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Fall 2021, What to know if you plan on transferring

Grand Rapids Community College campus (Sabrina Edwards/The Collegiate)

By Aspen Strauss

With the fall 2020 semester coming to an end at Grand Rapids Community College, many students now have to decide what to do next. Whether staying at GRCC for another year or transferring to another institution, here are some helpful Q&A responses from GRCC and five local universities.

Grand Valley State University

If you are interested in attending Grand Valley State University but aren’t sure if you have good grades or don’t know what’s academically the best time to transfer, Sarah Tibbe, GVSU’s admission counselor has answers for you.

“Transfer students need to have an overall 2.5 GPA for admission,” said Tibbe. “If students have less than 30 college credits, their high school records (transcript) would need to be submitted. But if they have more than 30 credits, then just the CC transcripts are needed to apply.”

Scholarships are always a big deal breaker when deciding if picking a college is financially the right decision. Unfortunately, as a transfer student, you are not eligible for merit-based scholarships as if you were a first-year freshman. However, there are scholarships available to transfer students. To see what applies to you, you can view their scholarships online.

GVSU uses a  course evaluation system to make sure that your GRCC credits will transfer over. You can view their Course Equivalency Guide online to see what credits will apply after you transfer.

“If a course doesn’t specifically transfer it usually still helps students reach the 120 credit hours required for an undergraduate degree and general credit is awarded for the course,” said Tibbe.

And if you were worried about how your housing may affect you coming in as a transfer student, Tibbe explains that housing at GVSU is always first-come, first-served. But transfer students do have more flexibility. All of the housing options are available online for more details.

Because cost is a major role in deciding financially if a school is right for you, check out GVSU’s tuition and fees for 2020/2021.  

If you have more questions about transferring, email admissions@gvsu.edu, or visit the website for more information. You can also contact Tibbe via email at Tibbesa@gvsu.edu.

Northern Michigan University

If you are thinking about braving the cold and transferring to Northern Michigan University located in Marquette, Allie Frorenza, the transferring admissions counselor, has information for you.

“To be admitted as a transfer student at NMU, we require a 2.0 GPA and a minimum of 12 college-level credits taken after high school,” Frorenza said. “But that doesn’t mean you can’t transfer to NMU if you’ve taken less than 12 college-level credits. If you’ve taken less than 12 credits, we’ll also need to evaluate your high school GPA towards your admissions decision, and that GPA requirement is a 2.25. We will work with each transfer student’s situation to see what information we need from you to make an admissions decision.”  

At NMU the admissions office officers separate merit-based scholarships for incoming transfer students. As a Michigan resident, NMU’s scholarships start at 3.0 GPA and above and range from $1,000 to 3,000 annually. But you must have completed 12 college-level credits taken after high school to be eligible for transfer merit awards. All of their scholarships are able to be viewed online, so students can see what is applicable to them.

NMU also uses a course equivalency database that you can look at ahead of time to see if your credits will transfer. The Course Equivalency Database is available online for students to view. But if you do not check, NMU’s registrar’s office will evaluate your transcript and you will receive a “transfer credit evaluation” which will tell you how many of your credits will transfer over. Frorenza explains that it is very rare that credit won’t transfer to NMU.

As a transfer student at NMU, you are given more flexibility with your dorm selection in their two main undergraduate facilities. They also have upperclassmen apartments on campus for transfer students coming in with higher amounts of credits who would be classified as juniors or seniors. There is more information about housing online.

“A tip I would give a student wanting to transfer would be to take advantage of the time you have and plan,” Frorenza said. “I would encourage a student wanting to attend NMU to reach out to us at the admissions office and we will get you connected with your specific counselor who will help you. I would also encourage anyone interested to visit our transfer webpage.”

You can check NMU’s tuition and fees here for 2020/2021. 

You can get in contact with NMU by emailing transfer@nmu.edu, visiting the website, or emailing Frorenza at afrorenz@nmu.edu. 

Davenport University

Thinking about becoming a Panther and attending Davenport University? Here’s some information provided by Jamarcus Wiggins, an education partner representative. 

“For a transfer student to earn transfer credits they must earn a grade C or higher in their coursework,” Wiggins said. “There is not a minimum number of transfer credits required. However to be eligible for transfer scholarships students must complete at least 15 college-level credits. Davenport is considered one of the most transfer-friendly universities in Michigan. We can accept up to 90 credits!”

 In addition to offering merit-based scholarships,  all transfer students at Davenport receive a minimum of a 20% transfer tuition discount for having transfer credit. 

As a transfer student, you are just like any other student when it comes to housing. 

“We do have upperclassmen residence halls that most transfer students seem to prefer over the first year/freshmen residence hall,” said Higgins. “And for the fall and winter semesters, we offer housing grants that range from $500 – $1,000.” 

For additional information, students can check out the housing website.

The easiest way to see if your GRCC classes will transfer over is by visiting Davenport’s website and utilize their course equivalency tool. Davenport when accepting a transfer student will look at a few things. 

“We will look at a student’s GPA. Transfer students typically need a 2.0 GPA to be accepted,” said Higgins. “However, there are select degree programs like nursing that require a higher GPA. Second, we look for a completed degree. If a student completed an associate’s degree from the community college we can accept them using this degree. Third, we will look to see if a student has completed our minimum college-level math and English course requirements. These are Intermediate Algebra and English Composition I. If a student has passed both of these courses with a C or higher we can accept them.” 

Check DU’s tuition and fees to see if becoming a future Panther is the right move for you. 

You can contact Davenport by emailing them Info@davenport.edu or visiting their website to find your specific transfer admissions counselor.

Kendall College of Art and Design

Are you interested in art and want to take your artistic learning to the next level? Kendall College of Art and Design may be a good fit for you.

To be considered at KCAD, a student must earn a “C” or higher for a class to transfer. The college does not require a specific amount of credits to transfer. 

KCAD is different from most schools, as a transfer student, you have the same scholarship opportunities as a first-year student would. You can see what you are eligible for on their scholarships webpage.

Thomas Post, the senior admissions counselor/graduate recruitment specialist, recommended that once a student is paired with an academic advisor to work closely to make sure classes transfer. 

“KCAD can provide some general information to students who are not yet accepted, but the advisors at GRCC will know what classes will transfer in. Some students do take extra classes or classes that are not transferable into their program, these end up just as “extra credits”. Working with an adviser  can help prevent this from happening.” 

You can check if classes transfer over via the course equivalency tool.

Post recommends that if you are thinking about transferring to KCAD that you should “know what program you intend to transfer into at KCAD (it’ll make life easier for you and your advisor). Work with your advisor and be aware of KCAD’s deadline dates for scholarships before your anticipated start semester.”

Check to see if KCAD is right for you financially by looking at their cost for tuition and fees for 2020/2021.

If KCAD sounds like a school that interests you, reach out sooner rather than later. You can contact them via email at kcadadmissions@ferris.edu, or visit their website for more information.

Michigan State University

If you are interested in becoming a Spartan and attending Michigan State University, Michael Kolar can help.

If you are interested in MSU’s transfer criteria you can check the college’s Transfer Admissions Standards. You can check the Scholarships page to see which scholarships you would receive as a transfer student.  MSU also uses a  Course Equivalency Tool to help check if all your classes will transfer. 

If becoming a Spartan is a goal for you make sure to check out MSU’s costs for tuition and extra fees for 2020/2021. 

If you have any questions you can visit the website: https://msu.edu or get in contact with the admissions office at admis@msu.edu to find your specific counselor.

Staying at GRCC? Read on. 

And lastly, if you are planning to stay at GRCC for one more year, Brian Knetl, Provost and Executive Vice President, Academic and Student Affairs has some information for you about what next year is “planning” to look like.

Coming in for your second year at GRCC you should expect to receive the same high-quality education from excellent instructors. 

“Students should expect an offering of classes that look very much like the fall semester with most classes being offered online,” said Knetl. “But they should also expect to have some options for on-campus courses.”   

Because online learning isn’t how every student prefers to learn. Knetl discussed what would need to happen in order for classes to be in-person again.

“We need to be sure that we can add more people on campus (both students and staff) in alignment with all the protocols designed to keep people safe,” said Knetl. “Right now we have very strong protocols in place and are able to continue on-campus instruction with reduced risk by limiting the number of classes offered in person. To increase that number of on-campus offerings, we’ll need to consider a variety of factors. Among them are improvements in how COVID is being contained in our surrounding community and recommendations from local health professionals. GRCC continues to monitor conditions and will plan semester schedules based on the best information available.” 

Knetl wants all students to know that GRCC is deeply invested in their success.

 “GRCC exists to help students reach their goals,” Knetl said. “To that end, they should know that GRCC has resources to support their success and they should make sure they know about and use the resources.  We have tutoring, advising, counseling services, offer loaner technology, have a food pantry, and a dedicated faculty and staff. Everyone is here to support students, so they should know to reach out and know that they’ll find a helping hand.”

The tuition and fees for another year will be very similar to your first year at GRCC. Depending on what you decided for classes, programs, and job training.