daughter wants a college transfer?

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gips
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daughter wants a college transfer?

Post by gips » Thu Jun 07, 2018 3:56 pm

Hi,

My D is back from freshman year and wants to transfer. Her reasons are:
- class size too big (600+ in some cases)
- feels student body is entitled and doesn't feel like it's a good fit
- hates greek life, all her friends but one joined

during the application process, she leaned towards big schools but had smaller schools on her list (colby and middebury). Her GPA isn't stellar (3.4) but she's on a pre-med track, taking very hard courses at cornell.

Other than the point about class size, I'm not sure the other reasons make sense. Also, the kids at colby and middlebury will be every bit as entitled as the kids at cornell. But she's very upset/stressed and, I'm sure given the choice, would take a semester off to work in her field and then apply mid-year to a smaller school. My sense is that she'll probably have a hard time making friends as a mid-year transfer.

questions:
- thoughts about her reasons for transfer and timing?
- colby was a safety, middlebury a reach (for everyone) but a good chance based on her stats. Given her gpa, would she have a shot at those schools?

thanks!

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Alexa9
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Re: daughter wants a college transfer?

Post by Alexa9 » Thu Jun 07, 2018 4:09 pm

I don't think those are good reasons to transfer. Social life is overrated. She's at a good school. Some people just don't like dorm/greek life. Get a studio apartment and buckle down and hit the books if she's seriously pre-med. If she can't hack it, take the weeder classes (calc/physics/chemistry) at a community college or have a plan B. You probably know her better than she or we do, so give your advice and let her do what she wants or make her do what you want if you're paying.
Last edited by Alexa9 on Thu Jun 07, 2018 4:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

augryphon
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Re: daughter wants a college transfer?

Post by augryphon » Thu Jun 07, 2018 4:09 pm

It's so easy to give advice for other people’s kids!!

I don't even concern myself with her reasons, just being dissatisfied enough to want to come to you and want transfer would seal the deal for me. If she is going to get the most out of her experience, she needs to be reasonably happy. My son had a similar experience his first year of undergrad, and he came to us with his plan to eliminate his issues and stick it out, and he pulled it off! Your daughter has come to you with her plan to fix it, assuming she is a solid decision maker and not prone to overreacting, I'd try to help her do it.

As far as transferring, most schools lose 15% (I may up that stat, but it's close) of their freshman class to transfers, they want to fill that gap with transfers in. Consequently, transfer acceptance requirements are not as stiff as incoming freshmen requirements, so she's more likely to be accepted.

livesoft
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Re: daughter wants a college transfer?

Post by livesoft » Thu Jun 07, 2018 4:12 pm

augryphon wrote:
Thu Jun 07, 2018 4:09 pm
As far as transferring, most schools lose 15% (I may up that stat, but it's close) of their freshman class to transfers, they want to fill that gap with transfers in. Consequently, transfer acceptance requirements are not as stiff as incoming freshmen requirements, so she's more likely to be accepted.
One can check first year retention rates and graduation rates easily to confirm or deny those stats for a particular college. Colby 93% retention rate. Cornell 97%.
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omgbirdman
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Re: daughter wants a college transfer?

Post by omgbirdman » Thu Jun 07, 2018 4:28 pm

One thing to note is that she is currently in a lot of general education courses which will have a ton of participants. As she gets into more major-centric courses her class size should reduce drastically.

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mhc
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Re: daughter wants a college transfer?

Post by mhc » Thu Jun 07, 2018 4:39 pm

I would encourage her to stick it out 1 more year. Things are probably not that much different at other schools.

After my soph. year of college I wanted to change majors because I hated my classes. I had just finished my first year of engineering classes. I happened to win EE soph of the year which came with a $50 prize and a banquet dinner. I thought it would be rude to accept the prize and change my major. I'm glad I didn't change majors. Things got better as I progressed in my classes. I now have a BSEE, MSEE, and 26 years working as an EE.

mouses
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Re: daughter wants a college transfer?

Post by mouses » Thu Jun 07, 2018 4:42 pm

Lots of students transfer. I did and it was the right decision.

I would suggest she look at places she is interested in,and then go have a detailed talk about her concerns with someone at their admissions offices, also visit around at the campuses. The admissions people should be able to give her the straight info.

campy2010
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Re: daughter wants a college transfer?

Post by campy2010 » Thu Jun 07, 2018 4:54 pm

I think your daughter's mental health matters a lot. These top schools put together a lot of kids who were once big fishes and small ponds and the competition can be fierce. Also, Cornell is known for the toughest grading among the Ivies. I imagine it is tough for a top student to become a 3.4 GPA student. Listen to her concerns!

For the vast majority of grad schools and professional schools a 3.4 from Cornell would be no big deal. The only exception to this is medical school. For most med schools, a 3.4 won't cut it, even from Cornell. Med schools adjust for the grading of schools to an extent but there is a threshold that hurts their stats. Spend some time on Student Doctor Forums website to get an idea of the stats med schools are looking for.

If the point of her going to college is to get into Med School then staying at Cornell will hurt your daughter's chances of that. One alternative would be for her to do non-science major at Cornell where the grading is easier and then do a 1-year post-bacc program where all the pre-med classes are done in one year. Some of these programs are highly regarded and the grading is a little easier.

With respect to transferring, a mid-year transfer to a small college like Colby or Middlebury wouldn't have much trouble meeting people. These schools are smaller than many high schools in the US. And the students predominantly live on campus. It would be different if she were planning to transfer to a larger school or a state university where kids start moving off campus sophomore or junior year.

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Epsilon Delta
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Re: daughter wants a college transfer?

Post by Epsilon Delta » Thu Jun 07, 2018 5:04 pm

How sure are you that you have the full story?

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Hulahoop60
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Re: daughter wants a college transfer?

Post by Hulahoop60 » Thu Jun 07, 2018 5:15 pm

My son transferred. He had the worst freshman year ever. I knew after the 1st week he was going to hate being there. He picked a school where none of his friends where going, which was fine, but the school set him up for failure as they placed him in a sophomore dorm as a freshman. I won't even get into what a social disaster that is for a freshman. It was also a Greek school and the tradition is to invite the freshman girls to parties and not the freshman boys. He asked to transfer when he came home at Christmas after the 1st semester & I was thrilled that he asked because he was so unhappy. He transfered to a non-greek school in a major city. He met his new group of friends, other transfers, during the required summer catch up courses at his new school. The next 3 years were wonderful, he was so happy at his new school, was very active in clubs, went on study tours in Europe, got great internships, an undergrad & master's degree, and the group dormed together steps from campus their junior and senior year. They are still friends now, live near each other, and socialize daily in the city.

You know your daughter best and if she is truly unhappy the objective is to put her into a situation that would make her happy. My daughter got into Cornell and while it is a great and beautiful school, after visiting we did not think it was a good fit for her, so she went to a school in a major city that had small classes and no greek life. It turned out to be a perfect fit for her, thank goodness.

You may want to check out college confidential, there are lots of parents and students over there who would have great advice and personal experiences similar to your daughter's.
Last edited by Hulahoop60 on Thu Jun 07, 2018 5:40 pm, edited 4 times in total.

Pacman
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Re: daughter wants a college transfer?

Post by Pacman » Thu Jun 07, 2018 5:22 pm

I went to a large university with a lot of fraternities/sororities. That environment can be brutal when you're not part of it, and you can pretty much guarantee that her old friends won't make much time for her now since they are busy with greek life. If I had to do it over, I would have gone elsewhere.

anonymousboglehead
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Re: daughter wants a college transfer?

Post by anonymousboglehead » Thu Jun 07, 2018 5:24 pm

I'm currently an undergraduate at a large public US university with enormous courses (1,200+ students). I took one last semester, and it was disorienting. Despite this less-than-ideal situation, one can effectively "decrease" class size by enrolling in discussion sections and creating small study groups with fellow students. This gets old fast, but hopefully by then your daughter will have completed her introductory courses and will be able to enroll in higher-level classes with lower student count.

Before deciding to transfer to a different school, encourage your daughter to research upper-division courses in her major to see enrollment stats; if they're still 600-person classes, maybe she has a point. If she'll be in 30-person classes by the beginning of Junior year, it might be a different question. Hopefully researching this question will help her make a more educated decision.

Ultimately, though, undergraduate success stems largely from happiness at (contentedness with?) one's school. I have a lot of friends who are bright but perform poorly in school because they aren't happy where they are. If your daughter is truly, deeply unhappy and you can afford to have her switch (and assuming you trust her to make the correct decision), let her switch. If you're unsure of her motivations, probe a little deeper; maybe she's one club, one small class, or one friend away from enjoying her current undergraduate experience.

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Re: daughter wants a college transfer?

Post by Beehave » Thu Jun 07, 2018 5:40 pm

Hulahoop60 wrote:
Thu Jun 07, 2018 5:15 pm
My son transferred. He had the worst freshman year ever. I knew after the 1st week he was going to hate being there. He picked a school where none of his friends where going, which was fine, but the school set him up for failure as they place him in a sophomore dorm as a freshman. I won't even get into what a social disaster that is for a freshman. It was also a Greek school and the tradition is to invite the freshman girls to parties and not the freshman boys. He asked to transfer when he came home at Christmas after the 1st semester & I was thrilled that he asked because he was so unhappy. He transfered to a non-greek school in a major city. He met his new group of friends, other transfers, during the required summer catch up courses at his new school. The next 3 years were wonderful, he was so happy at his new school, was very active in clubs, went on study tours in Europe, got great internships, an undergrad & master's degree, and the group dormed together steps from campus their junior and senior year. They are still friends now, live near each other, and socialize daily in the city.

You know your daughter best and if she is truly unhappy the objective is to put her into a situation that would make her happy. My daughter got into Cornell and while it is a great and beautiful school, after visiting we did not think it was a good fit for her, so she went to a school in a major city that had small classes and no greek life. It turned out to be a perfect fit for her, thank goodness.

You may want to check out college confidential, there are lots of parents and students over there who would have great advice and personal experiences similar to your daughter's.
+1 !
I have a child who had a similar experience. Told them to complete the 1st year and meanwhile they were accepted at and went to U of Rochester where things worked out very well. My advice - - if your child is truly unhappy, then try to help them as you can.

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TxAg
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Re: daughter wants a college transfer?

Post by TxAg » Thu Jun 07, 2018 6:25 pm

I transfered after my freshman year. From a tiny school to a big (and cheaper) one. I'm thankful I did!

megabad
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Re: daughter wants a college transfer?

Post by megabad » Thu Jun 07, 2018 6:28 pm

Oh boy this is a tough one. Can you pry a little more into her experiences? I say this for two reasons: 1) to determine her mental/emotional health and 2) to determine if it is temporary. Cornell is an amazing school and I would have a hard time encouraging my child to leave, but I believe that ultimately it is his/her decision and of course her happiness is important. I am assuming she has the entire summer to ruminate, so I would use this to investigate further as a parent and try to steer her appropriately.

Now you asked for thoughts so I am going to turn into a jerk here: As an objective outsider, I believe she would be doing a detriment to her future career prospects by leaving. The reasons for her wanting to transfer are what I would call common aspects that arise in life. She listed crowded areas/insufficient resources, people of differing backgrounds and views (sometimes negative), and a clique mentality. These are commonalities across the globe. It does not mean that everyone and every place is overrun with these things, but I would say a well prepared adult should be ready to deal with these things in life.

If she decides to continue at Cornell (this is what I am routing for), then I would recommend that she "find her home". In my experience, class sizes tend to decrease rapidly after freshman year core so I would urge patience there. Instead of Greek Life, what about intramural sports groups, study partners, cultural groups, religious groups? If she hates "entitled" culture than I would strongly suggest hanging out with foreign students. I find that foreign students have very different views on life in some cases. Can she get a change of scenery? What about a low stress job off campus so she can interact with non-Cornell students for a few hours a week? How does she feel about study abroad?

Sorry for the long post, I just feel attached to this situation and I am clearly biased toward Cornell.

cutterinnj
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Re: daughter wants a college transfer?

Post by cutterinnj » Thu Jun 07, 2018 6:39 pm

Cornell is a great school, but has notorious issues with grade deflation.

If she is really interested in med school, transfer to a different (cheaper?) school.
A “C” in Cornell organic chemistry (which might be an “A” elsewhere) won’t cut it.

Jags4186
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Re: daughter wants a college transfer?

Post by Jags4186 » Thu Jun 07, 2018 6:40 pm

Greek life argument is stupid IMO. I went to a school with a “large dominating” Greek life and it was 30% of the student body. I wasn’t a math major but if 30% is Greek that means 70% isn’t. Surprise, Cornell also has about 30% in Greek life. My suggestion? She joins some clubs.

GAAP
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Re: daughter wants a college transfer?

Post by GAAP » Thu Jun 07, 2018 6:52 pm

Since I don't know her, it's really hard to answer what is "right". However, if she is truly not happy, then she may not even finish at all...

My daughter stopped for a while after the first year, figured out what she wanted, and went on to graduate. My son, did something similar -- although it involved a 4-year army stint in the middle -- now he's in grad school. The key for both of them was to make sure that break didn't preclude any future educational options: my daughter never "quit", and my son was able to use a guaranteed transfer program.

41Fin
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Re: daughter wants a college transfer?

Post by 41Fin » Thu Jun 07, 2018 6:54 pm

The reasons may be trivial to you but if they matter to her than that’s all that matters.

Her life at the end of the day.

Isabelle77
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Re: daughter wants a college transfer?

Post by Isabelle77 » Thu Jun 07, 2018 6:58 pm

Just to share. My sister graduated from Colby and hated it. Waterville is a hard place to spend the winter and we're Canadian! Ithaca isn't much better but at least it's a bigger area, Colby students are pretty much marooned on campus. I would also look into how many graduates from Colby go on to med school. It seems like my sister's friends from college are primarily working for NGOs. She works for the federal government.
Last edited by Isabelle77 on Thu Jun 07, 2018 7:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Pigeon
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Re: daughter wants a college transfer?

Post by Pigeon » Thu Jun 07, 2018 7:03 pm

I would listen seriously to her concerns. I think most of those are valid. Cornell is huge. That's great for some students and not so great for others. The social situation really does matter because if she's miserable, she isn't going to do well. If all of her friends are in sororities, she's not going to see them much, if at all, so she's going to be looking to make a new group of friends there every bit as much as if she transfers someplace smaller. I think the Greek life issue is a completely valid concern. It does shape the social scene, even in places where the majority of students don't join.

I have a nephew who went to a smaller school because he got a full ride. It wasn't where he wanted to be and he was miserable. He stuck it out for two years and finally did transfer (to Cornell, oddly enough). It ended up taking him an extra year because so many of his credits from the other school didn't transfer and he would have been better off making the switch earlier.

92irish
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Re: daughter wants a college transfer?

Post by 92irish » Thu Jun 07, 2018 7:08 pm

Cornell has a great academic reputation for sure - but so do a lot of schools. She can get a great education so many other places and just because you went to Cornell is not going to get you into medical school alone. Your undergraduate years are too important for your formation to be miserable if you don't fit in. You want to be somewhere you want to be, not somewhere so you can say you are "from there."

My daughter was recently admitted to Cornell and decided not to go, exactly for the reasons your daughter mentioned: school and class sizes were a bit large, she is not into the Greek scene (which was big there), and did not get a good vibe about the student body. It was a hard choice for her to turn away from an "ivy". I knew as well that it was not the right place for her, but did not say a word. My sense was also that undergraduates were not really the focus of the university completely with all the graduate programs. Many smaller colleges put much more emphasis on undergraduate education. My daughter ended deciding on a university half the size with more undergraduate focus, but still national top 20 ranked that specifically has no fraternities or sororities. If the community and culture is not a fit, you have to let her make the call - it's her life.

I can't comment on how hard it is transfer and what the prospects are, but sincerely wish her the best and hopes she finds a place she is excited about.

adam1712
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Re: daughter wants a college transfer?

Post by adam1712 » Thu Jun 07, 2018 7:16 pm

Epsilon Delta wrote:
Thu Jun 07, 2018 5:04 pm
How sure are you that you have the full story?
This. Don't forget that there could be other reasons that she isn't comfortable sharing with you. She could be being harassed, had a bad breakup or dating experience, or something else. It also could be mental health issues that no new college is going to fix. Hopefully it's not any of these but it's important to consider.

scorcher31
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Re: daughter wants a college transfer?

Post by scorcher31 » Thu Jun 07, 2018 7:23 pm

see post below
Last edited by scorcher31 on Thu Jun 07, 2018 8:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: daughter wants a college transfer?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Thu Jun 07, 2018 7:43 pm

You're going to have to decide if you'll support a transfer. I can understand a "non-fit". I transferred after my 1st year because I didn't feel challenged. I'm glad I did.

My son transferred for the same reason and because the students around him were not at all serious about studies. He's stepped up to the challenge of a much better school.

BUT.......

If your daughter has any merit aid, unless you find out differently, expect that it won't be offered by other schools. Certainly check. In my son's case, he had 1/4 of his total cost of attendance paid for with merit aid. At the new school, it's quite clear on the website with a matrix that lets students know that if you're an international student or transfer, you're getting nothing.
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Misenplace
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Re: daughter wants a college transfer?

Post by Misenplace » Thu Jun 07, 2018 8:01 pm

She got a 3.4 doing premed her first year at Cornell? Wow. She did extremely well. Cornell has a notoriously brutal curve in the premed/engrg classes. She will most likely only do better as she advances, and the classes will get smaller and more intimate, especially her jr and sr year. If she wants to go to med school, she will have no problem.

I agree that she needs to drive this bus. She is probably not telling you everything. However, it is her life. She could take a year off and then go back. She can take a year off and transfer, but I expect that it would be very hard to fit in to the social culture of a small LAC midstream. She could try taking advantage of the world class research being done at Cornell and work in someone's laboratory as an undergrad. The latter would be my advice- she will find a family in the laboratory/department, and burnish her credentials at the same time.

PhilosophyAndrew
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Re: daughter wants a college transfer?

Post by PhilosophyAndrew » Thu Jun 07, 2018 8:46 pm

OP, I don’t think this is a matter for evaluating reasons and assessing arguments. Rather, I think the crucial issue is your evaluation of exactly, first, how unhappy your daughter is and, second, how likely her unhappiness is to compromise the remainder of her college education.

If she is unhappy enough that her college experience or success is jeopardized, her unhappiness is worth taking seriously even if it seems irrational or under-motivated. Happiness is rarely a rational matter.

If her unhappiness is significant, whether transferring, therapy, time away from school, or something else is the best solution is a matter for your daughter to work out with her parents.

Andy.

annielouise
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Re: daughter wants a college transfer?

Post by annielouise » Thu Jun 07, 2018 8:46 pm

Have her look into co-op living before deciding to leave. This was great for our son who felt very isolated in dorms. A good co-op is more like a family, plus the students there tend to be a bit quirky and different, which may suit her better based on what she has said.

scorcher31
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Re: daughter wants a college transfer?

Post by scorcher31 » Thu Jun 07, 2018 8:55 pm

PhilosophyAndrew wrote:
Thu Jun 07, 2018 8:46 pm

If she is unhappy enough that her college experience or success is jeopardized, her unhappiness is worth taking seriously even if it seems irrational or under-motivated. Happiness is rarely a rational matter.

Andy.
Initally, I mentioned a lot of how i don't understand her reasoning, that it is a bit irrational etc. The more I think about it though I 100% agree with Philosphy Andrews post (a few posts up). There is no guarentee things will be better anywhere else, but take care of your daughter if she needs it.

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Re: daughter wants a college transfer?

Post by Lieutenant.Columbo » Thu Jun 07, 2018 9:12 pm

Alexa9 wrote:
Thu Jun 07, 2018 4:09 pm
If she can't hack it, take the weeder classes (calc/physics/chemistry) at a community college.
campy2010 wrote:
Thu Jun 07, 2018 4:54 pm
For most med schools, a 3.4 won't cut it, even from Cornell. Med schools adjust for the grading of schools to an extent but there is a threshold that hurts their stats. Spend some time on Student Doctor Forums website to get an idea of the stats med schools are looking for.

If the point of her going to college is to get into Med School then staying at Cornell will hurt your daughter's chances of that. One alternative would be for her to do non-science major at Cornell where the grading is easier and then do a 1-year post-bacc program where all the pre-med classes are done in one year. Some of these programs are highly regarded and the grading is a little easier.
campy2010,
Do you know if taking the Pre-Med pre-requirements at a Community College instead of at a University, as suggested above by Alexa9, would jeopardize OP's daughter's chances of getting into Med School?
Actually, is an undergrad degree necessary to get into Med School? Or are very good grades in the Pre-Med pre-requirements enough to get in?
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blueman457
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Re: daughter wants a college transfer?

Post by blueman457 » Thu Jun 07, 2018 10:34 pm

I also went to a top 20 university for pre-med, but fortunately I enjoyed my time in college. Just scrolling through the top 20 universities, Cornell definitely has the largest student body (14k), so now I'm not surprised that some of her classes have few hundred people in them. That being said, the classes definitely get smaller as the semesters pass.

The greek/entitlement life is not unique to Cornell, so other schools will have the same issue to a fair degree.

I agree with all the above posters that talk to your daughter to see if anything is going on before making the jump to transfer.

Blue Man

toast0
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Re: daughter wants a college transfer?

Post by toast0 » Thu Jun 07, 2018 11:02 pm

If there are good community colleges in your area, she might want to consider taking a semester or two at the local community college, and transferring somewhere as a junior.

Community college usually has smaller class sizes, a large mix of students, including those later in life, and not a big fraternity / sorority scene. And it can be low cost (depending on the state).

It's definitely worth checking if she can take a break (leave of absence) from her current school, and come back later without reapplication; and if they'll take credits from any community colleges near you (and if that would be permitted within the leave of absence). If so, it's worth trying to get the course list settled before hand, so there are fewer surprises.

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celia
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Re: daughter wants a college transfer?

Post by celia » Thu Jun 07, 2018 11:41 pm

We had a similar problem when we were selecting (church-sponsored) private high schools with (for) our kids. One kid wanted to go to a different high school than DH and I preferred. Then I talked to a principal who pointed out that a student will work harder and get more out of his/her education by going to a school they prefer as compared to a better school where they don't want to be.

As a parent, your job is to guide your kids and help them evaluate options. It is the kid who will have to live with the decision for the rest or his/her life. This decision is part of a life learning experience for both of you.

Rupert
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Re: daughter wants a college transfer?

Post by Rupert » Fri Jun 08, 2018 6:57 am

Pacman wrote:
Thu Jun 07, 2018 5:22 pm
I went to a large university with a lot of fraternities/sororities. That environment can be brutal when you're not part of it, and you can pretty much guarantee that her old friends won't make much time for her now since they are busy with greek life. If I had to do it over, I would have gone elsewhere.
+1. I transferred after my freshman year because of the dominance of Greek life at the school I had chosen. I had no idea I would hate it so much until I experienced it. Your kid is probably miserable. Let her transfer if you can afford it.

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Re: daughter wants a college transfer?

Post by blevine » Fri Jun 08, 2018 7:20 am

My son tranferred TO Cornell.
To each his own.

He just graduated.
He was not greek but made nice friends with whom is now traveling for a post grad celebration. He lived in a “program house”, themed dorm where you have a built in group with common interests.

Grade deflation is real, but his worst grades were when he dabbled in engineering, considering a major change. Stuck with his major, grades were fine, and he got into Cornell grad school, staying for another year. But you do work very very hard without necessarily getting As. C, D or F can result sometimes after hard work in stem courses. Seems a tough school for a pre-med.

College social issues can be tough anywhere, personally would not let that make the decision. But the academics there are not ideal for pre-med. I also feel they do little teaching compared to smaller schools, too research oriented. But you learn from smart peers, both via collaboration and natural desire to keep up with perrs.

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Re: daughter wants a college transfer?

Post by tibbitts » Fri Jun 08, 2018 7:25 am

Lieutenant.Columbo wrote:
Thu Jun 07, 2018 9:12 pm
Alexa9 wrote:
Thu Jun 07, 2018 4:09 pm
If she can't hack it, take the weeder classes (calc/physics/chemistry) at a community college.
campy2010 wrote:
Thu Jun 07, 2018 4:54 pm
For most med schools, a 3.4 won't cut it, even from Cornell. Med schools adjust for the grading of schools to an extent but there is a threshold that hurts their stats. Spend some time on Student Doctor Forums website to get an idea of the stats med schools are looking for.

If the point of her going to college is to get into Med School then staying at Cornell will hurt your daughter's chances of that. One alternative would be for her to do non-science major at Cornell where the grading is easier and then do a 1-year post-bacc program where all the pre-med classes are done in one year. Some of these programs are highly regarded and the grading is a little easier.
campy2010,
Do you know if taking the Pre-Med pre-requirements at a Community College instead of at a University, as suggested above by Alexa9, would jeopardize OP's daughter's chances of getting into Med School?
Actually, is an undergrad degree necessary to get into Med School? Or are very good grades in the Pre-Med pre-requirements enough to get in?
A quick search will turn up vast amounts of information addressing this question, but I'm not familiar with it so I can't summarize.

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Re: daughter wants a college transfer?

Post by mouses » Fri Jun 08, 2018 7:27 am

megabad wrote:
Thu Jun 07, 2018 6:28 pm
I am assuming she has the entire summer to ruminate
Does she, or are deadlines for applying as a transfer student earlier than that? Of course, she could always take a year off and work at something that will help her "resume." I think transferring midyear is probably not a good idea since so many of the early courses tend to be I, II, etc. according to semesters.

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Re: daughter wants a college transfer?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Fri Jun 08, 2018 7:36 am

celia wrote:
Thu Jun 07, 2018 11:41 pm
[snip ...]
a student will work harder and get more out of his/her education by going to a school they prefer as compared to a better school where they don't want to be.

As a parent, your job is to guide your kids and help them evaluate options. It is the kid who will have to live with the decision for the rest or his/her life. This decision is part of a life learning experience for both of you.
Yes. Cornell is a great school, but it is possible that it’s the wrong school for a particular student.

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Re: daughter wants a college transfer?

Post by obafgkm » Fri Jun 08, 2018 7:40 am

Lieutenant.Columbo wrote:
Thu Jun 07, 2018 9:12 pm
Actually, is an undergrad degree necessary to get into Med School?
Take a look at the Flexner Report. The recommendations there (including an undergraduate degree as a requirement to enter medical school) revolutionized medical-school training in the United States. What passed for education before that (in many, but by no means all) "medical schools" is horrifying.

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Re: daughter wants a college transfer?

Post by RickBoglehead » Fri Jun 08, 2018 8:49 am

"Way above Cayuga's waters, there's an awful smell.
Some say it's Cayuga's waters, others say Cornell."

I spent two years at Ithaca College before transferring to U of Michigan, so I had to say that. My wife transferred twice, we met in junior year at Michigan.

I agree with several points made by others.

1) Freshmen lectures are huge anywhere.

2) Every school you mentioned has lots of entitled kids. In my days at Ithaca, many girls had Princess phones in their rooms paid for by Daddy, with their nice little European car paid for by Daddy.

3) Greek life can be totally avoided by a student if they wish (and IMO should be). The fact that her friends joined Greek life just means that she needs to find more friends.

4) Pre-med is hard everywhere.

5) Mental health matters. Large schools like Cornell haven't a clue if a student is in a bad place. A smaller school MIGHT, but that's a MIGHT. Students need to reach out for help, and too few do.

There is no reason she can't apply to transfer NOW, for Fall, if she gets her butt in gear. I agree with transferring mid-year as making it harder to find friends and fit in. But I'd encourage her to stick it out, meet with counselors, find new friends, etc.

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Re: daughter wants a college transfer?

Post by megabad » Fri Jun 08, 2018 8:59 am

campy2010 wrote:
Thu Jun 07, 2018 4:54 pm
For most med schools, a 3.4 won't cut it, even from Cornell. Med schools adjust for the grading of schools to an extent but there is a threshold that hurts their stats.

If the point of her going to college is to get into Med School then staying at Cornell will hurt your daughter's chances of that. One alternative would be for her to do non-science major at Cornell where the grading is easier and then do a 1-year post-bacc program where all the pre-med classes are done in one year. Some of these programs are highly regarded and the grading is a little easier.
Unfortunately, the above resonates with me. For many graduate/ med schools, a 4.0 from a middle of the road school will give better results than a 3.5 from a challenging highly ranked school. There was actually a study that was commissioned while I was in school that examined grade inflation and this effect. I was shocked to see that the average GPA at my school was roughly 0.75 pts lower than the majority of its peers. Personally, it inspired me to work harder to overcome this effect, but it made it difficult for some to get into grad schools.

However, in my experience a truly top med/grad school accepts mostly alums from top schools. I would focus on a near perfect MCAT and hold on to my Ivy education personally. Also, if student forgoes graduate/med school, an Ivy name on the undergrad diploma becomes unbelievably valuable in my experience. In OPs case, not sure if student is 100% certain about med school yet? Still very early to make that decision.
mouses wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 7:27 am
megabad wrote:
Thu Jun 07, 2018 6:28 pm
I am assuming she has the entire summer to ruminate
Does she, or are deadlines for applying as a transfer student earlier than that? Of course, she could always take a year off and work at something that will help her "resume." I think transferring midyear is probably not a good idea since so many of the early courses tend to be I, II, etc. according to semesters.
Hate to be a debbie downer, but I think the ship has already sailed for Fall if she hasn't already applied. Of course, calling and asking for an exception might work. But your point is valid in that she needs to consider application deadlines.

PS. FYI, the local university around here is ~50% greek for women. I don't consider 30% to be abnormally high myself. I had greek and non-greek friends a few (cough) years ago and it never really mattered to me (I went to a very heavily greek school).

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Re: daughter wants a college transfer?

Post by stoptothink » Fri Jun 08, 2018 9:05 am

92irish wrote:
Thu Jun 07, 2018 7:08 pm
My daughter was recently admitted to Cornell and decided not to go, exactly for the reasons your daughter mentioned: school and class sizes were a bit large, she is not into the Greek scene (which was big there), and did not get a good vibe about the student body. It was a hard choice for her to turn away from an "ivy".
My choice for grad school came down to Cornell and a much lower ranked institution. One visit to Cornell was all it took for me to realize it was not for me. I totally empathize with your daughter and OP's daughter.

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Re: daughter wants a college transfer?

Post by Toadandfriends » Fri Jun 08, 2018 9:26 am

Of course there is never a guarantee in life that a change will result in improvement. However, I have attended and taught at multiple institutions and it is important to realize that large research institutions and undergrad teaching institutions are radically different. Currently I teach at a small state school in midwest and I love the atmosphere. Undergrad class sizes average 15 and are always taught by a professor with doctorate. Teachers are evaluated on teaching first and foremost -research is secondary. We need to engage individual students in research (NCUR) and independent study projects to succeed professionally. We know all the students by name and absolutely know when a student is struggling. There are extensive support systems in place for academic and mental issues and the community responds. (Radically different from an experience for an undergrad at tier one research school.) St Olaf would be a great example of a private undergrad institution focused on community and undergrads and teaching. Don't underestimate how different a college experience can be at a different school.

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Re: daughter wants a college transfer?

Post by Doom&Gloom » Fri Jun 08, 2018 9:34 am

Agree with the numerous posters suggesting that you have an in-depth discussion with your daughter to see if anything else is going on.

If it seems that this isn't just a transient adjustment issue, I would suggest allowing her to transfer if at all feasible. College is no place to be miserable for four years. Nothing good can come of that for your daughter. Good luck.

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Re: daughter wants a college transfer?

Post by bloom2708 » Fri Jun 08, 2018 9:39 am

Epsilon Delta wrote:
Thu Jun 07, 2018 5:04 pm
How sure are you that you have the full story?
+1

She can be pre-med at almost any school. Ask her if she wants to be near home. Pick a good school. Doesn't have to be big or come with a fancy name.
Where to spend your time: | 1. You completely control <--spend your time here! | 2. You partially control <--spend very little time here! | 3. You have no control <--spend no time here

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Re: daughter wants a college transfer?

Post by multiham » Fri Jun 08, 2018 10:52 am

Ultimately, it is her decision to transfer or not. You can make suggestions, hold back funding(if you are paying), and say no, but it is her life and she will have the final say. If you have talked to her and she is still 100% into transferring, spend your energy helping her find the right school. You only get out of life what you put into it, and if her heart is not into Cornell, then the experience will not be worth her time and cost.

I transferred twice. I did not enjoy my time at a very large state school because I was still immature and not used to being just a number. I stuck it out for 2 miserable years and finally decided that I had to make a change. It was June so I ended up going to Community College for a year and then transferred to a small State College where all of your Professors knew you. Loved every minute of it and my only regret was that I had not done this a year earlier.

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Re: daughter wants a college transfer?

Post by celia » Fri Jun 08, 2018 11:03 am

Did your daughter visit Cornell and talk to some current students one-on-one before she attended?

Did your daughter ever travel to other places without you before she went to college?

Did your daughter have to separate with friends when they went to different middle schools and again when they went to different high schools (as opposed to staying with the same kids K-12)?

Adapting to new environments and friends can be hard. But it can be hard if she never did it earlier.

As far as transferring to another college, all the four-year colleges have their freshmen classes selected by now. You can often get into a community college at the last minute (since there are no entrance requirements). The mid-year transfer application deadline may or may not have already passed. If she can get in a 4-year college for Spring and finds that the social life is not what she was expecting, she should remember that new students will be transferring in at the end of their sophomore year the following fall.

Toadandfriends
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Re: daughter wants a college transfer?

Post by Toadandfriends » Fri Jun 08, 2018 12:06 pm

Folks,
It isn't necessarily too late to transfer for fall. Definitely not for spring 2019. Transfer students may be accepted for fall '18 on a rolling basis after deadlines- will depend on space in programs and individual university. Many smaller 4 year state schools are still accepting applicants for fall. Would definitely need to check each school.
:beer

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Re: daughter wants a college transfer?

Post by Glockenspiel » Fri Jun 08, 2018 12:08 pm

I transferred after my sophomore year to be closer to my girlfriend. From an education standpoint, it was a fine decision. From a girlfriend/now wife standpoint, it was a good decision, and from a making friends standpoint, it was a very bad decision.

I literally made the decision a few weeks before I actually went. I think I applied in early summer as a "just in-case". But this timeframe doesn't seem like it would be "too late" for most schools, for transfer students.

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Re: daughter wants a college transfer?

Post by Ben Mathew » Fri Jun 08, 2018 4:16 pm

gips wrote:
Thu Jun 07, 2018 3:56 pm
- class size too big (600+ in some cases)
- feels student body is entitled and doesn't feel like it's a good fit
- hates greek life, all her friends but one joined
All three issues listed above, including large class sizes, seem more social than academic. But I would still dig more and find out if she's comfortable with where she is academically. The 3.4 GPA with tough premed classes sounds like she's doing fine. But if she is struggling in some courses or worried that she might not get into medical school with that performance, it could be academic anxiety expressing itself as social issues. Pre-med courses at an elite institution like Cornell is likely to be extremely demanding, and she could be struggling more than she lets on. When a student is unhappy with one aspect of their life, they might lash out at large class sizes, entitled students, and so on, even when they are not the root cause of the problem. Again, not saying this is the case--she might just be socially unhappy. But worth digging deeper and finding out if something else is the real problem.
gips wrote:
Thu Jun 07, 2018 3:56 pm
she's very upset/stressed and, I'm sure given the choice, would take a semester off to work in her field and then apply mid-year to a smaller school.
I would take her being "very upset/stressed" very seriously, especially if she did not feel this way in high school. I would not push her back into Cornell without a plan to identify and solve her problems. She tried Cornell for a year and it didn't work. Something needs to change. If it takes a year off to get into a better situation, it's totally worth it. She has her whole life ahead of her. A year off is not that big of a deal.

Also I'm not 100% sure of this, but if she's sure she wants to go to medical school, stellar grades from a second tier school might be better than okay grades from Cornell. Might be worth looking into that.

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