New students here for low tuition, small classes

Roughly 140 students transfer to STU each year (Megan Cooke/AQ)
Roughly 140 students transfer to STU each year (Megan Cooke/AQ)

Gordie Angel, attended Dalhousie University for his first semester of university. He decided to transfer to St. Thomas University this semester because it’s smaller and has a lower tuition.

“This is a much smaller school…At Dal there were hundreds of people in my classes. I definitely like the small classroom size,” Angel said.

One hundred and forty students transfer to STU each year, according to the university’s website.

It’s common for students to switch universities for reasons such as money or unhappiness with their chosen institution.

He was also tempted to move to New Brunswick and away from home, as Dal is close to his hometown.

About one in three students who enroll in either a four-year or two-year college will probably transfer at some point, according to a study done by the National Association for College Admission Counseling in 2010.

Director of recruitment, Ryan Sullivan, said transfer students are common but they are more common in September than for second semester.

“A lot of students will stay at home for the first year for whatever reason…then feel the need to get away from home and end up transferring,” Sullivan said.

That is what Edrineka Gibson did. Gibson is from the Bahamas.

“After graduating high school, my parents wanted me to do two years at a college at home and then I could transfer to wherever I wanted to go,” Gibson said.

Although she said her former university, College of the Bahamas, had nothing wrong with it she wanted to get away from home for university.

“The reason I came to STU is because of the low tuition and fees, and also the small class sizes,” Gibson said.

Unlike Gibson, Angel transferred in the middle of the year. He admitted the transition was hard because he missed out on events such as Welcome Week and it’s been harder to meet people.

Gibson said it was an easy transfer.

“People at STU are really friendly and welcoming, but its definitely intimidating coming in when everyone has already formed friendships and know each other pretty well, and you’re like the new kid trying to fit in.”

Ryan Sullivan explained very few community college students transfer into STU because in the East Coast, as opposed to in the West, there are no university-level classes at community colleges that would transfer over.

“Except there is a cooperation with STU and NBCC with the criminology program. If they complete the two-year program, then we will give them a year’s worth of credit,” Sullivan said.

STU generally accepts credit transfers from any other Canadian university as well as most American and International ones. However, STU has an agreement that began in about 2004 with a school in the Bahamas where they coordinated classes and credits to match up.

He said in terms of recruitment, STU doesn’t particularly focus on transfer students from other universities. Those who do apply to transfer should have “good academic standing with their home institution…and have taken courses relative to courses they want to take here.”

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