By Robert Record
By Robert Record
Where are students going after their time at RCC and what are their reasons for choosing a particular university to complete their degree?
During RCC President Salvatore Rotella’s fireside chat, La Sierra University president Lawrence Geraty and Rotella discussed the fact that most students transfer to CSU and UC campuses. To both administrators there were specific reasons why this is occurring. But are students transferring to these campuses because of counselors’ “autopilot” instructions and student ignorance to other options, as suggested by Rotella and Geraty?
Several students spoke freely about their reasons for their transfer choice. In the end financial means showed itself to be the bottom line for most students, followed by the availability of specific majors at the respective schools.
Could there be a divide between the perception of the administration, in reference to students’ needs, and the reality of student life? Students spoke openly about their reasoning for choosing public versus private education and why for most students a private university is not a realistic option. Part of the administration’s perception is supported; most of the students who discussed their educational plans admitted that their future plans included transferring to a CSU or UC campus, primarily UCR and Cal State San Bernardino. However, the reasons for this trend are as varied as each student.
Countering the idea that private education is a viable option for students.
Anarisea Millgrave, an RCC student, told how she not only changed prospective colleges but also major because she could not afford the high cost of a private institution. She said that she is on financial aid and will be seeking more funding just to complete her undergraduate education at a UC institution.
In her words, the only way she could attend a private university was if “the money just fell in my lap!” Millgrave said that while not working, she knows she will have to work to pay for academic expenses once she transfers.
Nicole Hincapie, another student, commented on private education.
“It would be impossible,” she remarked when asked about the feasibility of paying tuition at an area private university. She further commented that even with the financial contribution from her parents she still has to work to pay for textbooks and cover basic living costs such as the multiple expenses of driving an automobile and keeping it drivable.
This student was also an example of someone who is transferring to a public university because of cost and the fact that the chosen transfer institution has a strong program in her desired career field. Also, as other students had said, she will be receiving financial aid despite the contribution of her parents towards tuition costs.
The trend of transfer choice was echoed by many other students and most gave very specific reasons for their choice of university. Also echoed was the widespread knowledge that many forms of financial aid are available yet financing a college education still remains a struggle for most students, and as such dictates what universities they can and cannot transfer to. However, few students admitted to not knowing about options for private education or made note that counselors had blindly suggested that they attend a CSU or UC to complete their degree.
It appears that most RCC students are quite deliberate in their choice of higher education whether that decision is based upon academic offerings or financial feasibility of completing their education.