Transfer applications to Texas State have recently dropped, and admissions recruiters are trying to pinpoint the reasons why in order to combat the problem.
There was a 15.4 percent decrease in transfer student applications from spring 2012 to spring 2013, according to the Undergraduate Campus Admissions report. About 3,880 transfer students applied to Texas State in spring 2012, but approximately 3,280 applied in spring 2013, according to the report. Stephanie Anderson, director of admissions, said the reason for the drop in applications is uncertain because the trend began only a few semesters ago.
“The numbers aren’t as big as we would like, and we’re not taking this lying down,” Anderson said.
Anderson said she suspects the economy has something to do with the drop, but won’t know for sure until more research is done. Research has to be started at the state or community college level because most of the top feeder schools have seen a drop in students.
Texas State mainly receives transfer students from local community college districts. Among those are Austin and Alamo community colleges. Lone Star College System was the only one of the top four feeder districts without a decreased enrollment number, according to the Campus Admissions Report.
Craig Howard, recruiter for Austin Community College, said non-four year institutions are hit hard by the education budget cuts from the state. The government seems to support technical schools more because their students graduate with a specific skill set.
Howard said the state of the economy and a change in community college students’ priorities have led to the decreased transfer figures. Community college students put off furthering education as their debt accumulates and jobs become harder to keep.
“Some (community college students) were working, had a routine, and it was easy,” Howard said. “Then they realize some required credits don’t transfer as easily. So, some of them do end up just going for associate’s (degrees).”
Howard said the unemployment rate is stabilizing, and some students are finding it easier to get a job with just an associate degree.
Admissions officials are taking initiatives to tackle the decrease in transfer students interested in Texas State, said Jessica Foreman, recruiter for Alamo Community College.
Anderson said the admissions department is using a national database to collect data about college enrollment to see what students do after graduating from the feeder schools.
“With this new information, we can go back and see if they are still interested or not and focus on the ones who are,” Anderson said. “Then on top of it, (we can) see where and if they are enrolled.”
Reverse transfer is another new concept recruiters are considering in conjunction with the community college systems, Foreman said.
Students, with reverse transferring, will be allowed to apply credits from a four-year university toward an associate degree at the community college from which they transferred, Foreman said.