The University of Tampa has a first-to-second year retention rate of 76 percent – meaning 24 percent of students leave UT after their first year, according to Forbes.com. While this may not seem like a huge portion of the population, it does not account for the amount of students who consider transferring but do not for a myriad of personal reasons.
In a nonscientific survey conducted by The Minaret of 44 UTampa students, 63.6 percent of students admitted to having considered transferring out. 32.6 percent admit to currently considering transferring. 31.82 percent admit to having applied to transfer to other schools. Of these students, 90.9 percent claimed that UTampa was either their first-choice school or among their first choices when they originally applied to schools.
What makes students change their minds about UT? Common concerns cited by new students are homesickness and having unrealized expectations of the school.
“While nothing is yet official, I have been considering transferring from UT since late September and have applied to a few schools. One of the main reasons I am likely to transfer for next semester is because I’m really homesick. When choosing to come to UT I never thought I would be homesick, let alone want to transfer because of it. Another reason as to wanting to transfer is the climate change,” said Stephanie Forlini, freshman advertising and public relations major.
“While I sincerely have given my best effort to join clubs and activities, I just don’t really feel like I fit in here and nothing seemed to work out. The gorgeous weather and my friends will be really hard to leave, but I know we will stay in touch and I need to do what is best for me,” Forlini said.
Other students surveyed cited reasons for staying that ranged from getting more comfortable at the school over time to feeling like they have come too far to leave now.
“The reasons I am not transferring are: one, because of my internship and two, because of the people I met in my fraternity,” said Patryk Klimek, a freshman pre-dental major. “I considered transferring just because I am really far from home and didn’t really have many people to go to ASAP. After meeting a ton of people and all, I started to like it more. It’s basically the connections you make and all your friends that influence whether you like [a school] or not.”
To accommodate for the transfer-out rate, UT has a fairly high transfer-in rate. Seven percent of the student population consists of students who transferred in from other colleges and universities, according to CollegeTransfer.net.
“I transferred to UT because I was looking for a school that challenged me more, a school that was still small but [offered] a lot of opportunities,” said Michelle Fitzhenry, junior marketing and pre-medical major. “Moving here has definitely been a challenge but I would never change my mind on transferring here.”
Bianca Lopez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org