Virginia Tech enrolls a record-breaking transfer class
August 14, 2020
Virginia Tech is poised to welcome its largest and most diverse transfer class ever with more than 1,300 students having accepted the offer of admission.
This is the third year in a row that a class of more than 1,000 transfer students will enroll in the fall term and follows a previous record-breaking cohort for 2019. The increased enrollment is notable as transfer matriculations have declined nationally over the past several years and have been especially impacted for 2020 by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
This year, the university received more than 2,875 transfer applications. The soon-to-enroll cohort hails from 29 different states and 16 countries and boasts an average prior college GPA of 3.45. This sets it among the academically strongest transfer class admitted in the past four years.
The class is equally strong in its diversity, with 28 percent identifying as first-generation, 26 percent Pell-eligible, and 46 percent meeting the university’s classification as an underrepresented minority or underserved population.
“We're dedicated to continuing the work we began with freshmen admissions to increase access by reducing barriers. Focusing on transfer recruitment and admissions was the next step. Transfer students bring diverse experiences and perspectives that help make the Virginia Tech academic enterprise and community stronger,” said Juan Espinoza, associate vice provost for enrollment management and director of undergraduate admissions.
Following the changes implemented in the first-year admissions process since 2018, transfer recruitment and admissions has been an increased area of focus, with the Office of Undergraduate Admissions setting a goal to expand access and transparency for students, community college partners, and other campus partners.
“We’ve made significant efforts to be more responsive to the unique needs of our transfer applicants. By listening closely to their feedback and that of our transfer partners, we’ve become better transfer advocates ourselves. This has helped us continue to build resources, services, and processes that are transfer-inclusive and transfer-focused,” explained Jarrid Dulaney, assistant director and transfer coordinator in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.
During the past two years, transfer recruitment efforts have included setting up a “Hokie Corner” – an admissions and advising space – at New River Community College (both at the Dublin, Virginia, campus and New River Mall site in Christiansburg), Virginia Western Community College (Roanoke, Virginia), and Wytheville Community College (Wytheville, Virginia). In addition to office space at partner locations, recruitment and advising of transfer students occurs online with Virtual Hokie Corner advising meetings, which facilitate high-level connection and engagement with students around the commonwealth and beyond.
Nasim Schwab, assistant director of Transfer Student Initiative in Student Success Initiatives, said that, “collaboration between admissions and advising is crucial to the individualized needs of transfer students. Having a dedicated transfer team allows us to create a united front with seamless support from the application, to admission, to onboarding of transfer students.”
As part of the expanded focus on transparency and improving transfer resources, students are provided with an Admissions Roadmap, a list of courses that are required and recommended for a competitive application for their intended major. These course maps are co-constructed with BY Admissions and each academic college to ensure that a student enters a program with the academic preparation needed for success. This allows students to prioritize their course selection with the advisor at their home institution and align the curriculum toward transfer, which has resulted in a dramatic increase in the number of competitive applications received and reviewed.
The Office of Undergraduate Admissions continues to review applicants holistically using essay questions and other noncognitive attributes to determine admission. Through this method, the university is welcoming more diverse, high-achieving classes of both freshmen and transfer students and making them part of the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university.