ASU aims to increase number of online students and community college transfers

The University outlined a plan that could increase financial aid to students transferring from Arizona's community colleges

ASU and the Arizona Board of Regents outlined a plan for growing the number of Arizona Community College transfers and online students in the next 10 years. 

The Operational and Financial Review Enterprise Plan for 2017 was released Jan. 23 and officially announced in February. Each year, ABOR conducts a review and releases a report of financial aid, data and other reports about Arizona university projections. ASU’s plan included a two-page explanation of the University’s standing with community college transfers and online students.

ASU has accepted 58-60 percent of students transferring from community colleges statewide over the last decade, according to the plan. ASU has seen a drop in total transfers from Arizona community colleges over the last four years, dropping from about 6,900 in 2013-14 to 6,750 in 2015-16. Although the last few years have netted a decrease, there is a rise of about 650 transfers over the last decade. 

In the plan, the University said it needs “more aggressive efforts with community college leadership to allow ASU to be more present and active in educational planning and support during the period of enrollment at the community college." 

The plan also outlined “targeted financial programs for online transfers” and “experiments with incentive-based financial aid tied to degree completion for students coming from community colleges.”

According to the plan, the cost of new financial aid programs aimed attracting new transfer students could be over $20 million a year

Almost 1,100 new resident transfers were to ASU Online in 2016, according to the plan. This was because online programs offer residents with some college credits to restart their pursuit of a degree.

Autumn Pickart, a communications senior and online student, said that she started as an on-campus student and slowly transitioned to being all online.

“I started on campus, and then after I changed my major a million times, I decided that it was best for ... the way I study; that I can do it when I want to rather than go sit in a lecture,” Pickart said. “What I like the most is that I can work during the day and then go home and do school, or if I wanted to I can work on my homework wherever, whenever.”

Pickart said students should have the availability to be all online, partially online or in person because everyone studies and behaves differently.

“I think it takes a certain kind of position for someone to be in to be completely online. I’m not completely shut in to my house doing online classes, people seem to assume I do,” Pickart said. “I think it’s good for people to be able to choose whether or not they want to do online."

Derek Fermaint, a computer engineering junior and Mesa Community College transfer said that ASU was fairly active in recruitment at MCC.

“I was an officer at PTK (Phi Theta Kappa) at Mesa Community College and we would have representatives from ASU come and speak to students. So at general meetings they would come and do outreach,” Fermaint said. “On top of that, ASU has the MAPP program, so if you are a (Maricopa) community college student and you want to get your bachelor’s degree after your associate’s at (a Maricopa) community college, they kind of outline what classes you need to be taking at the community college so that they transfer accurately.”

Fermaint said that the transition was rough at ASU, but overall it’s been a good experience.

“I’d definitely say there’s a lot of resources here that have helped me out, like there’s the Barrett transfer student club,” Fermaint said. 

Daylan Amey, a film practices sophomore, said the process was simple to transfer from Chandler-Gilbert Community College to ASU.

Amey said his transfer adviser took care of him during the transition, making sure he had everything turned in on time and keeping him informed about his situation.

However, Amey said he didn’t have any help or contact from ASU until he decided to transfer and that it would have been better for him if they had been more involved in helping choose which classes to take to make sure his credits transferred properly.

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