The Storrs Spring Admission Program will allow in-state students who were admitted to a regional branch campus to transfer to the University of Connecticut Storrs campus for the spring semester.
“This year, when we looked at our pool…when we looked at the students who just missed the cutoff for Storrs (they) were offered the chance to start at a regional campus,” said UConn’s Assistant Vice President for Enrollment and Director of Admissions Nathan Fuerst.
Fuerst said there was a similar program several years ago but they decided to bring it back this year to attract more top-quality students to UConn.
“Given the capacity in housing and (that) we had students asking for something like this, and we were really just interested in attracting the top Connecticut students to come to UConn at one of our regional campuses for a semester and then join us at Storrs,” said Fuerst.
Students who were admitted to a regional campus automatically had their applications considered for the Storrs Spring Admission Program.
“At the end of the day we’re all one UConn, so we’re unique in our institutional structure that way,” said Fuerst.
Students in the Storrs Spring Admission Program must obtain a minimum of 12 credits and a GPA of 3.0 during their first semester at a branch campus to remain eligible.
This year, 300 students were offered placement in the program, 100 of whom accepted.
“There’s no real hard cutoff, we offer admission to the top applicants in our pool to the degree that we can enroll 3,600 students (at Storrs) and then we stop, and there continue to be some really great students in the pool and we’d love to have them, we just aren’t able to accommodate them at Storrs,” said Fuerst.
This program is possible due to a consistent increase in on-campus housing vacancies during the spring semester as students finishing their degrees in December, transfer or study abroad during the spring semester.
“Those patterns are pretty consistent over time, so all we did was say we’re going to bring an additional 100 students to Storrs,” said Fuerst.
“We worked with ResLife to make sure there would be capacity (to accommodate the students coming from regional campuses),” said Fuerst. “We don’t expect any shifts that would make it not possible for us to accommodate the students given the migration patterns between campuses.”
Most students must spend their first two years, or earn 54 credits, at a regional campus before transferring to Storrs.
“There is a limited number of majors where the sophomore curriculum isn’t available at the regional campuses, that’s more of the exception to the rule rather than the rule itself,” said Fuerst.
Fuerst said this program appeals to students who may want to save money their first semester by commuting, as well as being able to experience smaller classes at the regional campuses.
“If you’re commuting, it’s obviously a lot cheaper,” Fuerst said, “The average class size is also smaller…so they, often times, get more personal attention, (and) have the opportunity to learn in that smaller setting.”
While there will be transfers from all branch campuses, the largest number will come from the Hartford campus, Fuerst said.
Fuerst added that most students are attracted to the Storrs campus because it relates to their vision of a “traditional college experience.”
“We wanted to get students who were considering attending… another university (who) we simply weren’t able to accommodate in Storrs (and) were really hoping to be on the Storrs campus, so now we’re getting them here earlier, I think that’s really the biggest benefit,” said Fuerst.
Fuerst stated that the admissions department will make decisions regarding the future of the program in December.
“The first year’s a pilot, we’re still looking at how we want to develop the program,” said Fuerst. “That won’t be finalized until around the holidays when we start releasing admissions decisions.”
Anna Zarra Aldrich is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at email@example.com. She tweets @ZarraAnna.