Recently, students planning to transfer to the University of Connecticut have reported that zero merit-based scholarships are offered to incoming transfers each year. Transfer students at UConn are not even considered for merit-based financial aid. There is just not enough money in the budget.
Over the past year or so, UConn has had to significantly cut costs due to budget cuts from the state. Funding for students has decreased overall and resources have been changed and minimized throughout the school (like excess dining halls and counseling services). However, during this time, student fees and tuition have continued to rise and will continue to do so over the next few years. This means that, although the available funds for students may be decreasing, the average need of the student is staying the same, or even increasing. Thus, just because the university has lower funds does not mean students require less money to attend, in fact they often need more.
It is understandable that due to budget cuts the university has had to limit funding to certain areas of the university, and students knew that this was inevitable. However, these restrictions should not put entire groups of students at a huge disadvantage. By singling out transfer students, the university is making it much more difficult for students that want to change schools and attend UConn to do so. Transferring schools is a huge decision, and not one that comes lightly or easily to most students. This decision typically comes so that students can find a school with a “better fit” or one that is more financially feasible. By not offering merit scholarships to transfer students, we are making our university more difficult for students to attend from a financial standpoint, essentially telling transfer students that they are outsiders, or less important to the community than incoming freshman.
If incoming transfer students are just as qualified than incoming freshman, then they should be offered merit scholarships as well. Not offering these scholarships only serves to alienate the transfer student population — who may already feel this way just due to the nature of joining a new university. This decision of the university’s may have good intentions as far as the budget goes, but from a student’s perspective it only seems unjust.