Transfer students denied merit scholarships; budget constraints to blame

Reitz said the university hopes to increase the merit scholarship opportunities available to transfer students from other universities. (Nicole Jain/The Daily Campus)

Reitz said the university hopes to increase the merit scholarship opportunities available to transfer students from other universities. (Nicole Jain/The Daily Campus)

Transfer students at the University of Connecticut expressed concerns about the lack of merit scholarships offered to them by the university.

Neva Taylor, a second-semester student at Hofstra University, was recently admitted as a UConn transfer student for fall 2019. She was disappointed to see that the same merit scholarships offered to incoming freshman are not offered to transfer students, Taylor said in an email.

Taylor called the UConn admissions office and was told transfer students are not considered because “there wasn’t enough money in the budget.”

“This made me feel as though transfer students were different, or less valued, in the UConn community,” Taylor said.

Stephanie Reitz, UConn spokesperson, said each year thousands of admitted students, both freshman and transfer students, ask the same question.

“Generally our response to such questions is that UConn’s scholarships and financial aid program is budget-based,” Reitz said. “Policy decisions on award recipients are oriented at ensuring access and affordability for our neediest students, and are designed to directly fulfill the enrollment objectives of the university.”

Taylor said the other Connecticut state universities, Central, Eastern, Southern and Western Connecticut State University, all offer merit scholarships to incoming applicants, both freshman and transfer students.

When contacting UConn about the same, Taylor said she was not given helpful information.

“I have talked to the admissions office, financial aid office and have emailed the president,” Taylor said. “[The head of admissions] told me to fill out the FAFSA which obviously is not helpful at all to what I was asking.”

Reitz said the university hopes to increase the merit scholarship opportunities available to transfer students from other universities.

“UConn is constantly working to expand scholarship opportunities for students, both through institutional funds and philanthropy,” Reitz said.

UConn offers merit aid only to transfer students from Connecticut Community College students who are participants in the Guaranteed Admission Program (GAP).

“[Students who] meet the criteria specific to their desired majors and have earned an associate degree in a liberal arts transfer program will be considered for the President-to-President Scholarship,” Reitz said.

Taylor said she thinks transfer students from universities outside the GAP program should have equal access to merit scholarships as the rest of the incoming class.

“We have worked just as hard on our grades and should be equally rewarded for doing so,” Taylor said.


Ashley Anglisano is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached by email at ashley.anglisano@uconn.edu.