The Ivy Coach Daily

April 11, 2011

Guaranteed College Admission

Is Cornell’s guaranteed transfer admission policy ethical? You decide (photo credit: Eustress).

There is an article in the “New York Times” today that describes the plight of students who are offered what is known in the world of college admissions as “deferred admission” or “guaranteed transfer admission.” A university that is well known for offering this option happens to be an Ivy League college…Cornell University. Are there other colleges that offer this option? Yes. Middlebury College is one of them. But Cornell offers this option in significant numbers.

So what is guaranteed transfer admission or deferred admission? Well, some students choose to defer their admission to travel the world or to save up money for college. That’s not the deferred admission that we’re speaking of, though. We’re talking about a college such as Cornell University that tells an applicant that they don’t have room for them this year but if they go to another college for their freshman year and earn, say, a 3.3 GPA, then they will be guaranteed admission to Cornell for their sophomore year.

This practice allows colleges to manage their enrollment and it invariably puts students in quite an awkward position. Should they make friends at Tulane University when they know they’re just going to transfer to their dream college, Cornell University, at the end of the year? Should they even bother to experience campus life at Tulane? While the practice of guaranteed transfer admission may well allow students to attend their dream school after their second year, we find that these students often find happiness their first year in college and become reluctant to transfer…even to an Ivy League University such as Cornell.

Check out the “New York Times” article here.

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