Tech welcomes most diverse transfer class

On Nov. 1, more than 1,000 new Yellow Jackets were accepted as transfer students for the spring 2021 semester. // Photo by Jacinto Fernandez Student Publications

On Nov. 1, Tech released decisions for transfer students after a waiting period of more than six weeks since the application deadline.

This year, 1146 new transfer students were invited to start their coursework at Tech this spring semester starting Jan. 14.

Diversity is a concept that most, if not all, colleges strive for within their classes.

Consequently, this concept was manifested in this year’s transfer class coming from 224 different colleges, including 39 Georgia colleges and 76 community colleges.

These numbers mean little without comparison to past statistics, of which three were topped: 230 more transfer students than last year, 120 more in-state transfer students and 12% more underrepresented minority transfer students.

Tech has prided itself on inclusivity as Chad Bryant, director of Tech’s transfer initiatives, states that it is their goal to provide more students with the opportunity to earn a Tech degree.

That is why, as part of the Georgia First Pathway Program, students that are first-year, in-state applicants who have first-generation college student status are eligible to apply to transfer if they were not originally offered admissions.

It is clear that many students are taking advantage of this initiative as 14% of this year’s transfer class is made up of first-generation college students which is a 29% increase from the previous year.

Public institutions are catalysts for social mobility, essentially making them a public good. So Tech’s initiatives reflect on the principle that Tech should remain accessible to Georgia’s most talented students.

In tandem with in-state students, seats in the transfer class are also available to out-of-state and international students, of which there are an abundance.

Diversity, again, is seen even here with 33% female and 21% underrepresented students (which includes Black/African-American and Hispanic students) that come from 61 Georgia counties, 35 states, and 22 countries.

Diversity is only one side of the coin, though. Quality of the students being selected has maintained relatively high if not higher than in the past. This year’s transfer class has an average GPA of 3.8 with nearly 51 credit hours to start.

The journey of a transfer student to Tech is testament to the fact that a student’s path to college is never the same.

Many transfer students come from the workforce, a community college or even the military, such as Devan Moses, who transferred to Tech after spending time with the US Marines.

In a recent article published by Tech, Moses states, “Even if you did not do well in high school, there is still a path for you to go to a great school. It may not be the most perfect path, but you can be successful.

“Just remember, you are a trailblazer doing something others have not done before. Be proud of that, and don’t diminish your accomplishments within the community.”

Kenisha Stills is another student in this year’s transfer class who enlisted in the US Air Force in 2011.

“Don’t let the fear of not seeing anyone who looks like you going to college stop you from going to college or educating and improving yourself,” she said in her interview with Tech.

“It’s OK if you don’t want to go to college straight out of high school; there’s a lot of other options out there for you and a lot of other paths to college that’ll present an opportunity to you that could change your life, open your eyes to the world around you and to things you didn’t know about yourself before, and show you what truly matters to you.”