Importance of Accreditation in the Transfer Process

The Dean asked me to post information from our transfer team every Tuesday, and we like to let him think he’s in charge, so here’s the Tuesday Transfer update:

Making the decision to transfer is one of the biggest decisions you can make in your college career.  It is important that you understand the policies and requirements for completing your “new” degree-program.  The evaluation of your previous transfer credit will certainly impact your progress toward graduation in this new program.  To insure that you receive the most credit possible don’t forget to verify the accreditation status of your current institution and transfer institution.  Check out:   for more info on types of accreditation and why it is important.


10 Responses

  1. Emily,

    Please ….. what is the transfer rate for first and second semester freshman at GMU? In other words, how many high school seniors who started as freshman in Fall of 07ended up enrolling in Spring of 08 and how many continued on in Fall of 08?

    Also, who makes admissions decisions? Truth or dare.

    THANKS….hoping you are able to articulate your own answer…..who’s your daddy Emily!!

  2. Hope you won’t mind if I answer – Emily’s probably too nice to answer once you make reference to her lineage.

    You assume that stop outs are transfers, which isn’t generally the case – Mason students often stop out for work experiences offered in the region and stop back in the next semester which confouns the data. Despite those oportunities, less than 10% leave in the first year for any reason. Mason has been recognized for having incredible retention rates across students of all backgrounds.

    Admission policy is set by the faculty, and implemented by the admissions staff. Counselors review applicants and, within certain parameters, can make decisions. Those not within the parameters or that merit additional consideration are brought to and discussed in a committee of admissions officers coordinated by one of the senior admissions officers.

  3. Is there a a certain percentage of transfers that GMU takes in. Is it the schools benchmark or is it the best candidates who apply and however many the school may be able to accomodate. Please elaborate if possible. Thanks….

  4. Good question. I completed the first national study of transfer admission policies a few months ago, so this may be a bit more information than you need:

    Mason is among a handful of institutions in higher education that takes in a large number of transfer students from across the country and around the world. Many schools use transfer students as “filler” (that was actually what a school where I consulted called such students), waiting to see the size of their freshman class and their stop out rate, then filling in those spaces. For those schools, the odds of transferring in completely depend on how big their freshman class is, and how many students depart.

    As a result, many institutions do some bizarre things with regard to admission of transfer students. The studies that have been conducted show that whatever GPA a transfer student has from their current institution is likely to be the GPA they will get at their new institution (although these tend to be a bit lower in the first semester after transfer). Despite that data, colleges persist in asking students with great college records to supply high school transcripts and SAT scores. This may make sense if you only have a few courses, but seems crazy if you have a full couple of years at another institution. Other schools only want transfers from similar institutions.

    Mason follows the practices of some of the other high profile transfer institutions. We base our admission on the GPA in transferrable coursework the student has obtained at his or her current institution. The best candidates are selected. The size of the class is not a percentage of the population, but like the freshman class is determined by the space we can accommodate keeping our low class sizes and faculty ratios. Since the age of most of our transfers is similar to our juniors, and since we have a large transfer population, their transition to Mason is really very comparable to that of our freshmen.

    Sorry for the length of my response, and let me know if that didn’t exactly cover your question.

  5. It was a great response which definitely helps. I don’t understand why they want to see your high school grades, I can understand they would want to know what your past work was like but still.

    Thanks for the response. I also had another question, when in a certain situation for admission does GMU offer an interview, I think that it may help some students more than others. I think that the admissions committee would change some of their opinions about people.

  6. Another great question! The data on interviews is very mixed. There is virtually no evidence that they are of assistance in predicting success in college. In addition, for Mason we have a fundamental fairness issue. We have more than doubled our number of freshmen applications in the past few years, while we have maintained staffing levels (since we’d rather spend on your education than on more recruiters). Up until 2001 we had interviews as part of admissions, but when the application numbers exploded it became impossible to meet with everyone who wanted an interview. I feel strongly if we can’t meet with everyone, we shouldn’t advantage some portion of the applicant pool over others, so we don’t offer any interviews during the process.

  7. Thank you for the response, I can understand that after the final four that GMU was in (which was a lot of fun) the number of applicants must have sky rocketed. I do understand that many students transfer to GMU whether it be through NVCC or some other local universities. Does the school ever make an exception on interviews, do they accept other outside material such as resumes. If someone requested for any of this information would it be taken into consideration, I know of many schools that may or may not. Thanks.

  8. I’m going to jump in and respond to your question – hope you don’t mind, Dean Flagel.
    Mason will accept a resume as a supplemental document for an application and we do take them into consideration, especially when a student has taken some time off from school to work or has related work experience to their field of study.
    As far as exceptions for interviews: as Dean Flagel said, we really do not do formal interviews and making an exception would open a huge can of worms. If I agreed to give you an interview and then you were admitted, imagine how many of your friends would then be knocking down my door to get an interview and tell me how qualified they are. And like the Dean said, if I couldn’t accomodate all of those requests it really isn’t fair to grant a few exceptions.

  9. Thank you very much Emily, and you don’t be sorry for answering I am simply looking for answers. That makes perfect sense and I understand why some schools are willing to accommodate certain information or not, such as individual interviews. Again thanks for the response.

  10. I have a question about transferring. I am currently a freshman at shenandoah university. I want to transfer to Mason after just one semester here. Is that possible and what is the proccess?

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