The Office of Admissions has not accepted any transfer students for fall 2010.
According to Admissions, approximately 260 students apply every semester to transfer to Middlebury. The decision to not accept any transfer students is unusual, but not unprecedented.
According to Dean of Admissions Robert Clagett, the number of transfer applicants accepted varies dramatically year by year, but the process remains very competitive.
“There have been years like this one when we have not admitted any, and other years when we have admitted as many as 15 to 20,” he said.
The College will refund application fees for students who applied to transfer to Middlebury this fall.
Opting to not admit any transfer students stems in part from Middlebury’s crowded rising senior class. Despite a 2010 acceptance rate of only 17.5 percent, the projected enrollment for the fall could not accommodate transfer students.
“We have an unusually large senior class returning next fall, many of them from being abroad this year, and next year’s juniors are not going abroad in quite the numbers that we expected,” Clagett said.
Other colleges and universities have also been accepting fewer transfer students in recent years, due to the boom in the number of students applying to college. For the past two years, Harvard University has not accepted transfer students because of insufficient residential space. They will be accepting transfers once again for fall 2010.
Princeton University does not accept transfer students at all — some attribute this to its high freshmen retention rate, others to a desire for cohesion and having each class share the bond of having entered the University together, among other reasons.
The number of students who transfer from Middlebury to other schools varies as well, but on average 15 to 20 students transfer every year from all four classes — not enough make room for a new class of transfer students this coming fall, especially considering the extraordinary number of students that will be on campus.
The transfer population adds one more layer of diversity to Middlebury’s student body.
“Transfers bring the experience of another college system and generally come to Middlebury with a much better idea of why they want to go to college in the first place and what they want to get out of their education,” said Alena Giesche ’11, a transfer student from Alfred University in New York.
Though many students understand the reasons why the College could not accept additional transfer students, they think transfer students contribute greatly to the student body.
“It’s a shame that the school isn’t accepting more transfer students,” said Michael Kessler ’11.
“Transfer students are generally the people who are most enthusiastic about being at Middlebury.”