THE PACE CHRONICLE

The Stigma You Carry: What You Don’t Know About the Transfer Experience

When a transfer student walks into class, they are carrying the heavy weight of stigma against them.

When a transfer student walks into class, they are carrying the heavy weight of stigma against them.

Brittany Pisoni, Contributing Writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






She was Aragon High School’s valedictorian, president of the student body, captain of the cheerleading squad, president of the robotics team, and beloved by all. She could do anything and everything and she knew it. She only associated herself with those who could talk her speed, rolling her eyes to those she assumed could not. It was no shock to see the pursed lips of judgment that formed when she learned that her lab partner for chemistry class would be the good-for-nothing low-life slacker of which I was perceived to be.

“I have to do good on this lab,” she said, clearly only concerned with her own agenda. “I am not going to fail this class and end up pregnant at community college.”

She clearly had strong opinions about a future I never came close to having.

There is a stigma against community college students. It is the belief that students not accepted to a four-year university straight out of high school must be students who are not serious about their future and probably never will be. Perhaps there is some truth to this, however, to believe it to be the norm is a frustration that my dorm mates and I live with every day as new transfer students at Pace.

“There’s people here that I specifically don’t talk to because when I said I went to a community college before this, they were like, ‘Oh…’ with like a little bit of a [attitude],” said Samantha Murphy, a junior transfer student from Rockland Community College. “The people that go to community college are way undervalued because most of them are supporting themselves in some way or working in some aspect on top of taking college classes. Whether you’re there because you don’t know what you want to do, you don’t have the grades yet, you’re trying to save money, like there are so many reasons to go to a community college- you have a family, you’re a mom or a dad and you have to take care of your kids. Everything that people at community college are going through gives you such a bigger perspective.”

According to an article posted by studentloanhero.com, a blog that helps students and parents navigate through the financial struggles of college, a student attending a community college can save anything from $2,000 to $20,000 after finishing a two-year associates program depending on the state. For examole, in New Jersey only cost $165 compared to the average four-year state school that cost $519 per credit. 

“My parents didn’t have enough money to send me,” saic Alexandria Porter, a younger transfer student from Sullivan County Community College. “…they thought it was a good idea that I stayed and eventually I was like, ‘Ok, this is probably the best idea cause I got a full scholarship to my community college.’” 

With the first two years of her education paid for, she only has to worry about two years of Pace tuition bills instead of four.

It is not always about the money, though, says transfer junior Jenna Sharkey from Norwalk Community College in Connecticut. She believes that because nobody in her family had ever attended college before her, she had a limited sense of direction when attending high school.

“I literally almost didn’t graduate,” she admitted. “Coming to Pace, it like, really changed me. Like, matured me, and you know now, I’m like a whole different person so I feel like that’s my second chance.”

Murphy comes from a different perspective.

“Going to a university was always the plan, like it was never a doubt in my mind,” she said. 

Murphy’s parents went to four-year universities, and therefore, it was always expected of her to attend one also.

“They were very upset when I changed my mind from going to a four-year school to a two year- because they were like, ‘No you can’t do this’ because they thought that I was going to drop out and never finish,” Murphy said. “Once they realized I was committed to going, it was just I needed that stepping stone. It worked out.”

It is a privilege to attend a university for all four years of an undergraduate program. What students should understand is that there are many hardships that can prevent students from the typical college experience, but it does not make them any less deserving to be your lab partner.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
1 Comment

One Response to “The Stigma You Carry: What You Don’t Know About the Transfer Experience”

  1. Julia on December 3rd, 2018 1:59 pm

    I 100% agree. I went to a four year University straight out of High School because it was the next step that I felt I needed to take. I wasn’t completely sure about what I wanted to study or the direction I wanted to go but there was a negitive stigma about going to a Community College which we called “Junior College” and I felt like I didn’t want to back track or be looked down upon.

    I was fortunate enough to have had a great experience and finish in four years, working my butt off, and having a full time job, but it was extremely stressful and expensive.

    In hindsight, I could have saved money, taken a bit more time, and allowed myself more flexibility to really figure out the direction I wanted to go by attending a Community College ( at least for the first two years!)

    There are several factors as to why one attends Community Colleges first and this stigma that people are “less than” or getting a “poor education” needs to stop. Even in the corporate world you see this being an issue for getting jobs. An education is an education and where one can afford to go or have the time to go shouldn’t matter, as long as they are qualified for the position!

    Great article Brittany! 🙂

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




*

Navigate Left
  • The Stigma You Carry: What You Don’t Know About the Transfer Experience

    Opinion

    The Essential Need for More Washing Machines in Dorms

  • The Stigma You Carry: What You Don’t Know About the Transfer Experience

    Opinion

    Tuition Bills Increase When Paid Online

  • The Stigma You Carry: What You Don’t Know About the Transfer Experience

    Opinion

    Should the Mailroom Notify us about Cards and Letters?

  • The Stigma You Carry: What You Don’t Know About the Transfer Experience

    Opinion

    An Ode to North Hall: The Red-Headed Step Child of Pace’s Residence Halls

  • The Stigma You Carry: What You Don’t Know About the Transfer Experience

    Opinion

    Writing Enhanced Courses Taking Away From Other Priorities

  • The Stigma You Carry: What You Don’t Know About the Transfer Experience

    Opinion

    Air Conditioning Out of the Hands of the Residents

  • The Stigma You Carry: What You Don’t Know About the Transfer Experience

    Opinion

    The Pluses and Minuses of Group Work

  • The Stigma You Carry: What You Don’t Know About the Transfer Experience

    Opinion

    Get Some Sleep, You Need It

  • The Stigma You Carry: What You Don’t Know About the Transfer Experience

    Opinion

    The State Of Diversity and Inclusion at Pace: A Deeper Look

  • The Stigma You Carry: What You Don’t Know About the Transfer Experience

    Opinion

    The Importance of the Print Newspaper

Navigate Right