In a letter to the editor in today’s “New York Times” from Monica Inzer, Dean of Admission and Financial Aid at Hamilton College, Ms. Inzer stands by her previous statement in which she stated that guaranteed transfer college admission is “borderline unethical.” We happen to agree with Ms. Inzer and applaud her for standing up for a selfish practice used by many colleges that is counter to students’ best interests.
What is guaranteed transfer college admission? It’s when universities write letters to applicants that say they didn’t get in this year but if they maintain a certain GPA at another university, they’ll be guaranteed admission the following year. Students then have to attend a different university, one that they have no intention of ever graduating from because they intend to take the college that offered them the guaranteed transfer up on their offer. So in turn, the guarantee transfer not only hurts the student who may be hesitant to get involved or make friends at the university he/she only intends to stay at for a year but it also hurts the college they attend for that one year. When students choose to transfer this has a detrimental effect on that college’s rankings.
The practice is essentially putting students into yet another type of limbo predicament. Ms. Inzer also clarified that her comments do not apply to deferred admission: “While I stand by my statement, the article also addressed the practice of deferred admission, an entirely different and widely accepted practice used by Hamilton and many of our respected peer institutions, including Middlebury College and others mentioned in the article. A student offered a deferred-admission option simply matriculates a semester later without taking a spot at another institution from which he or she has no intention of graduating.” We again agree with Ms. Inzler. Deferred admission doesn’t force students to enroll at other colleges. It doesn’t force students to transfer. And so, unlike guaranteed transfer college admission, there’s nothing wrong with this tactic.
Check out the letter to the editor in the “New York Times” here.