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As the quarter reaches its halfway point, most of the students here have a good feel for what Principia has to offer. For some, this is their second college experience. For some others this is their first but potentially not their last. Students around the world have to decide where to spend these four very important years of their life, and although tough, each student has their reasons for ending up where they want to be.
In the past three years, between 22 and 26 students have transferred to Principia each year. In a school of 526 students, that is a fairly high percentage. This year in particular we had 22 transfer students come in, four of whom are international. This percentage is fairly consistent with years past, with five out of 26 in 2009, and three out of 22 in 2008 being international students.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 17% of transfer students leave due to a lack of comfort. These reasons have nothing to do with the academic atmosphere but more from dorm life, social activities, and confidence in their choice of school. Junior Fassio Elder, who recently transferred from Saddleback College and Irvine Valley College, said, “I decided to transfer to Principia mainly because of the metaphysical nature of the student body, as well as the overall friendly and welcoming atmosphere. Actually, the whole friendly thing was huge. At the other institutions I have attended [which were all junior colleges], practically no one was open to conversation or meeting new people.”
Also according to the National Center for Education Statistics, 42 percent of students who began at a four year college left due to the lack of academic opportunity in their area of study. Sophomore Kelsey Linder said, “Although I love the aspect of diversity Prin does provide, I want to go to a school more focused on the arts and, in particular, Interior Design.” Freshman Devin Sinner is looking to further her study in a particular area elsewhere after getting some general education classes finished. Sinner said, “I am interested in a major in anthropology, which Prin is limiting for. Plus California is much closer to home.”
Many other students around the country also leave for personal reasons. With 53% claiming personal issues, 31% claiming to have financial reasons, and 21% of the country’s transfers claiming to have family responsibilities, it’s no surprise that many students decide to transfer into Principia, as all of those issues can be solved through Christian Science.
Freshman Fiona Holden, a transfer from Pacific Northwest College of Art as well as Portland Community College, chose Principia for many reasons. “I wanted a greater sense of community, teachers who care and are willing to go out of their way for students, small classes that aren’t just art related, and the Christian Science focus. I love that CS is supposed to go before everything else here, and that one’s growth in Science is so supported – I’ve missed that.”
All in all, Principia is like any other college in that it has its transfers in and out for various reasons, but it all just adds to the diversity of our campus. Students come in and out, living their lives and bringing joy to the world, and Principia both welcomes our new transfers and offers best wishes to those moving on to new adventures.