Transfer Program Offers New Path to Georgia Tech for Pell-Eligible Students
Some students receiving application decisions from Georgia Tech this admission season might find they have an alternative if they don’t get in this time.
Starting with Early Action decisions in January, Tech has created a new transfer pathway specifically for Pell Grant-eligible students. Here’s how it works: Students attend another college for a year, completing 30 hours of required courses for their intended major. If they maintain the required GPA and meet all the application and document deadlines, they’re guaranteed a spot as a Yellow Jacket the following fall.
“We are a selective institution, and it is competitive to be admitted. There are a lot of students who we aren't able to enroll as first-year students,” said Rick Clark, director of Undergraduate Admission. “What we're saying to these [Pell-eligible] students is: We see your potential, and we would like you to be part of the Georgia Tech community; here's another road you can take.”
That road is officially called the “Talent Initiative Transfer Pathway,” and Clark said that while the program is new, the focus on social and economic diversity is not. The program is part of Tech’s commitment to the American Talent Initiative, a collaboration with more than 100 other universities to substantially increase the number of talented students from low- and moderate-income families who complete college. Federally funded Pell Grants are typically awarded to students with significant financial need.
Clark said he expects around 160 students will be offered the transfer option when Early Action decisions are released Jan. 18. History suggests even more students will have the opportunity in March, when the remaining admission decisions are made. Students offered the transfer path this spring will be eligible to enter Tech as second-year students in Fall 2021.
“For us, a healthy campus environment means students from all backgrounds, whether that’s geographic, curricular, or socioeconomic,” Clark said. “The Talent Initiative Transfer Pathway speaks to the fact that we want to be a place that provides students of all socioeconomic backgrounds and family backgrounds with an opportunity to earn a Georgia Tech degree.”
Clark said some students don’t have an optimal high school career, academically or otherwise, and this program gives them the chance to demonstrate what they can do in college. The new program is one of several different kinds of transfer entry points designed for first-generation students, veterans, and students pursuing specific majors, for example.
“[The pathways are] very centered on our mission as a public university to be a place that is committed to access,” he said.