Clarissa Anderson | Reporter
Baylor administrators have now boosted merit-based scholarships for transfer students for the 2017-2018 school year. Scholarships rose from between $5,000 and $10,000 to between $6,000 and $12,000.
Kyle Pyron is Baylor’s transfer admissions counselor for students coming from schools other than McLennan Community College. He said Baylor has revised merit-based scholarships every couple of years.
“It helps us to stay competitive with other schools,” Pyron said.
Since students are concerned with the cost of attendance of a private university such as Baylor, increased scholarships provide incentives for students to come, Pyron said.
Paul Marshall, one of Baylor’s senior academic advisers and sponsor of the Transfer Academic Council, said the increasing transfer scholarships would begin closing the gap between entering as a freshman versus as a transfer.
“[Raising the scholarships] gives transfers the confidence that Baylor really wants them to be here and be successful here,” Marshall said.
Baylor’s merit scholarships are guaranteed for students who qualify. The scholarship amount depends on the student’s cumulative transfer GPA, and renewal of funds depends on maintaining a stipulated Baylor GPA.
Transfer scholarships are significantly less in comparison to freshman merit-based scholarships. For the 2017-2018 school year, freshman merit scholarships range from $7,000 to $22,000 per year depending on the student’s class rank and SAT or ACT scores. While transfer scholarships have increased for the 2017-2018 school year, freshman merit scholarships have, as well.
Baylor does not have the best reputation among transfers said Livermore, Calif., senior Debbie Watson, a transfer student.
“I feel that here at Baylor the transfer population up until recently was not really recognized, wasn’t taken care of. [It] was kind of like they did everything they could to get us here and then, once we were here, it was like, ‘Fend for yourself,’” Watson said.
However, Baylor’s increase in efforts to aid the transfer community, such as the scholarship increase, has caused Baylor’s reputation to begin changing for transfer students.
According to the Transfer Success Center, transfer students take BU1000 classes not merely as part a new student experience requirement but also to cope with transfer shock. Transfer shock is the tendency for the GPA to drop after a student transfers from another college or university.
Transfer students choose Baylor because of its academic reputation but are still surprised by the increased rigor, Marshall said. Many transfer students engage in major GPA recovery after their first semester at Baylor, which may negatively impact their merit scholarship renewal if they cannot raise their Baylor GPA. Thus, Marshall said incoming transfer students should not celebrate too quickly at news of the scholarship increase but pay close attention to their scholarship’s GPA requirements and utilize all of Baylor’s resources to fight transfer shock.