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Registering students face transfer credit limit

By , Reporter  |  Monday, April 7, 2014 12:28 AM

As registration periods near, some St. Thomas students will no longer be able to transfer more than eight credits from other schools and universities to put toward core requirements.

The new eight-credit policy—or post-matriculation credit limit—will apply to students who enrolled at St. Thomas beginning in fall 2013. Students who entered before that time will not be affected.

Associate Vice President for Undergraduate Studies Michael C. Jordan said until last fall, there was no regulation on credits that could be applied to core requirements. Students could apply as many credits as they wished from other institutions to core area requirements.

A St. Thomas policy change says St. Thomas students will no longer be able to transfer more than eight credits from other institutions to put toward core requirements. St. Thomas' eight-credit policy applies once a student enrolls at St. Thomas starting with the class of 2017. (Jordan Kruger/TommieMedia)

A St. Thomas policy change says St. Thomas students will no longer be able to transfer more than eight credits from other institutions to put toward core requirements. St. Thomas’ eight-credit policy applies once a student enrolls at St. Thomas starting with the class of 2017. (Jordan Kruger/TommieMedia)

“The idea is that once students have committed themselves to pursuing a degree at St. Thomas, fulfilling the core requirements to an extent that we think fulfills the integrity of the core is deemed to be important,” Jordan said.

However, the policy does not apply to ACTC students, students studying abroad or students transferring in with credits.

The price of classes at other institutions can be appealing to St. Thomas students. Currently, St. Thomas undergraduate students pay $1,079 per credit, and students who attend Century College pay $178.68 per credit. Students are allowed no more than four transfer credits applied to any one core requirement area.

Sophomore Danielle Swanson has transferred eight credits since enrolling at St. Thomas and said tuition is “so expensive already.”

“If you can take classes elsewhere for $1,000 compared to $4,000, it just all adds up in the end,” Swanson said. “You’re already paying so much for the classes here. You think that they would be OK with you trying to save some money.”

Jordan said there is a difference in the difficulty and focus of classes at some other schools.

“The idea is that it is important to uphold the integrity of the core curriculum,” Jordan said. “The core courses at St. Thomas are designed to meet very specific criteria that are developed and approved by the faculty as a whole. Transfer courses in core requirement areas always represent an approximation to the St. Thomas requirement.”

Senior Andrew Alexander said he noticed students at the local community college where he transferred credits from were less motivated.

“A lot of people there didn’t take it as serious as a lot of people at St. Thomas would,” Alexander said. “But then there was obviously a handful of people that took it just as seriously as any other class.”

Junior Luke Marks said he thinks the university is encouraging students to get the St. Thomas experience.

“They want people to obviously (take St. Thomas) classes because they are getting a degree from here,” Marks said.

Marks said he thinks the university should modify the policy to allow four courses to be taken outside the university.

“I think it would make more sense to allow two more classes outside of St. Thomas because it’s an expensive school,” Marks said. “Even related to other schools, it’s expensive.”

Jordan Kruger can be reached at krug6172@stthomas.edu.

This item was posted in Featured News, Latest News, News and has 8 comments so far.

8 Comments

  1. will scully
    Apr. 7, 2014 11:28 AM

    This is atrocious! What an unfortunate way for the university to profit off of students while taking away the opportunity to get a broad life perspective – something that is lacking here on campus.

  2. Mariah Neuhauser
    Apr. 7, 2014 1:14 PM

    As a UST student, I have taken most of my generals classes at Normandale or through NDSU or M-State (while I attend UST) due to the cost. I decided not to pursue an AA degree before attending UST because I would probably not be eligible for the freshmen scholarships since I would be considered a transfer student.

    The only reason I have chosen to attend St. Thomas is to pursue a music and business education and I have gained a lot from UST through the music and business programs. This new credit policy may harm future attendance and retaining rates due to the high cost of a UST education. Had I not been able to take most of my generals classes elsewhere, I would probably have gone to NDSU and not UST due to the cost. I hope UST will change this policy as it may hurt attendance as our tuition continues to increase.

  3. John Wallington
    Apr. 7, 2014 3:53 PM

    While I do understand the cost-related concerns, I also do see some merit in this decision. If a degree is from UST, shouldn’t the classes also be taken at UST?

  4. Gao
    Apr. 7, 2014 4:27 PM

    St. Thomas must give out more grants and scholarships to low-income students or this new policy will destroy UST. With this new policy, UST will continue to attract rich White people into the school. So much for diversity.

  5. Kathleen Dempsey
    Apr. 7, 2014 4:27 PM

    I sure hope this does not apply to students bringing in AP credits or College in the School credit. I think it will turn away a lot of hardworking students if that’s the case. For me, bringing in credit allowed me to double major in four years (full course load throughout). 

  6. Karen Hansen
    Apr. 7, 2014 4:56 PM

    Yikes!  I saved a year and who knows how much money by taking courses for dual credit my senior year in high school and transferring them in. The program was new at my high school that year and has only grown. 

    Is the concern is that transfer courses may not be up to St. Thomas’ academic standards? If so, stricter guidelines on course equivalencies rather than limits on transfer credits overall are in order. 

  7. Dick Houck
    Apr. 7, 2014 6:41 PM

    Is UST more interested in money rather than affordable education? If the concern is about the degree of knowledge in the core subjects being transferred, how about an interview or test being given to make that determination instead of just a discriminating flat number?

  8. Brian Weber
    Apr. 8, 2014 3:37 PM

    It’s a pretty minor change in the grand scheme of things. This doesn’t mean students can’t transfer in more classes once they are already in college (for example, electives or even potentially some major courses), the limit is only on the core curriculum.  There is also no limit on courses completed prior to high school graduation.  As always, students should contact Academic Counseling before taking a class off-campus.  Please view the catalog for the official wording on this policy: http://www.stthomas.edu/catalog/general/transfercreditpolicies/  

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