College isn’t an easy process. Even at John Jay, a student has to find the right classes, create the right schedule.
After that, comes the money on books and expenses. Transfer students know the troubles well, along with added troubles from the transferring process.
Outside of the New Building, transfer sophomore Steven Chen sat on the stairs smoking a cigarette before class.
Chen said that his issue was that his credits didn’t transfer over from his previous college, St. John’s University. Although set back slightly in his year by transferring, Chen still said that it was the best decision and he has no regrets in doing so.
John Jay accepts many transfer students every year, which leaves room for students to encounter personal issues. Being a commuter school, every John Jay student has their own circumstances, but most problems tend to cease after the first year.
Transfer students must deal with being a new student all over again, even if it isn’t their first year. Like the case of Chen, credits could be denied, financial aid could be confusing or students could just have questions, and they don’t know who can answer them.
For some students, this can happen further down the line, such as Theresa O’Brien who transferred to John Jay for Criminology. While her credits were accepted from her previous school, there was a delay in the CUNYfirst website registering her credits. O’Brien said that her credits were accepted, but not connecting for her to enroll in classes. Her advice is to get in touch with academic advisors, or possibly the departments of the classes.
Both students transferred over the summer, unaware of how much assistance they were offered. Even with the transferring process over the summer, students do have access to helpful resources.
Students can contact the Academic Advisement Office through e-mail, or over the phone, during office hours; all of which can be found on the John Jay website.
As all students, including transfers, prepare for the upcoming semester, advisors are there to help students with any problems or questions that come up.
Lorenz Sprototaki, from the Academic Advisement Center, said that transfer students are encouraged to make appointments over the summer with advisors, to make sure they are on the right track.
The Academic Advisement Center is located in the New Building, in room L.73. Sprototaki also said that transfer students should meet with a senior advisor first, and then peer advisors are available for any clarifications after.
Academic Advisement is not the only resource for students. Questions about financial aid should be directed to the Financial Aid Office, which is also open during the summer. During the school year, students can make appointments in the office, located in the BMW building on West 57th, in room 607.
Students can contact the office through e-mail or the phone from 9 AM to 4:45 PM Monday through Thursday, and 9 AM to 2:45 PM Fridays. Any other information can be found on the Undergraduate Financial Aid page.
Krisitina Kalisak is majoring in English to become an elementary school teacher. “Utilize the resources you have. With them, I was able to work out loans, and better understand FAFSA,” said Kalisak, who transferred for her junior year.
A financial aid faculty member helped Kalisak through her questions during the summer over e-mail. Now in her senior year at John Jay, she still turns to academic advisement and the financial aid office with questions. Even after the process is finally completed, the resources do not vanish.
Jack Foye, a now Junior who transferred last year, said “In the end, the process is worth it if it’s the school you want to attend. Faculty like advisors want to help you, and if the resources make it easier, why wouldn’t you use them?”
The bottom-line is, college isn’t easy for anyone, and in the case of transfer students there are more obstacles. It’s hard enough being a new student, but it is more than just that for transfers. Despite this, transfer students should know that at John Jay they have faculty and offices to help them as best they can.