27 colleges come to DMACC for semi-annual transfer fair

Chronicle staff member Anthony Arroyo speaks with Rachelle Setsodi, assistant director of admission at Drake University at the Oct. 11 Transfer Fair in Building 5.
Photo by: Taylor Burns.

DMACC holds a transfer fair in the fall and spring, which presents students with an opportunity to meet admission counselors from other colleges around the area.

This year the transfer fair was held on Oct. 11 and 27 different colleges from state schools around Iowa to colleges in surrounding states to one school in Phoenix, Ariz., came to recruit students.

According to DMACC’s website, “90-percent of DMACC graduates who transferred to one of Iowa’s state universities stay enrolled there after one year” and 925 colleges accepted DMACC credits in 2016.

When students at DMACC are picking a college to transfer to, they often think about cost. They already saved money by attending DMACC, but other universities can be significantly more expensive. On DMACC’s website, there is a tuition savings calculator where it calculates how much money you’ll save by attending DMACC for the first two years which will help you in the years to come in you transfer.

At Coe College in Cedar Rapids, the second-largest city in Iowa, last year, the average financial aid package for income transfer students was $35,800 per year. The college offers many scholarships from $500 for being a sibling to an alumnus of Coe to two full tuition scholarships: One for having a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA and the other for being a finalist of the Diversity Leaderships, Sustainability and Marshall Music Scholarships where they are invited to interview or audition on campus.

“A lot of our students will have a very competitive opportunity to study at Coe It might be more expensive for some than a state school but for others it might not. We like to think that it’s always worth it and our students tend to agree. We’re all about making it possible and it’s up to the students if they want to make that happen,” said Kayli Harlan, assistant director of admission for internal and transfer student recruitment.

Students also tend to look at class sizes. At DMACC many of the classes are small and you will rarely find an auditorium of 300+ students.

Drake University in Des Moines has a 12:1 student to faculty ratio. Drake was among the top 10 mid-sized universities nationally. Faculty members teach all of the classes at the university and students have an advisor specifically in their major so they have easy access to faculty.

Drake students also benefit from being in the capital city with many offers for internships.

“We have the outcomes that they need to make their dreams come true to get on to their position they want, job or graduate school,” said Rachelle Setsodi, assistant director of admission at Drake University. “All the things in the end help the student with that placement rate (99-percent) and help them be where they want to be. [Drake is] Truly changing lives.”

The other deciding factor for which college to choose is location. Many students won’t travel out of state for two reasons: Being away from home and out-of-state tuition costs. Grand Canyon University, located in Phoenix, Ariz. is a college with no out-of-state tuition, which is appealing to students.

GCU offers transfer experience where they fly students out for free to visit the campus as long as they fill out a free application and send over transcripts to show they are admissible. They will stay overnight in the dorms to get a feel if it’s the right university for them.

“There are a lot of opportunities for students to get connected. Particularly for freshman. Freshman events that teach them stuff to do in the valley, get to know the city and help them get plugged into more than just the campus but also the community around it,” said Jeffrey Lacano, GCU admissions counselor.

The average student ends up paying $8,250 per semester because of all the institutional scholarships that range from $2,000 to $6,750.

Alejandra Anaya, GCU admissions counselor, said, “The community on campus is really good. We were both students at GCU, so we liked it so much so we wanted to work for the university.”

If you’re a student at DMACC and planning on transferring after two years and still unsure about where you’d like to go, DMACC holds another transfer fair in the spring where you’ll have another opportunity to talk with college representatives to consider cost, class size and location.

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