BY Tuma Haji
Emory Heimermann enrolled in a post secondary education program during her last year of high school to take advantage of the college credits offered through a local community college. She decided to attend another year at Normandale Community College before enrolling to Drake University once she completed her general requirements. Students such as Heimermann are partaking in the growing trend of taking college courses while enrolled as high school students.
Heimermann’s cultivated interest in astrophysics while attending her second year of community college led her to Drake University. “I realized that I wanted to do astrophysics and that Drake University was one of the top schools in the Midwest for the sciences…” she said. “I went to visit the school for a campus tour, and throughout the whole day it seemed as though everyone I talked to genuinely could look me in the eyes and see me a human being rather than a student or a number. I honestly felt loved.
The flat rate tuition of $41,250 was also an appeal to many out of state students such as Heimermann since private universities generally do not charge out-of-state residents more than in-state residents. Drake had eighty-nine entering full-time transfer students from 13 states and 7 countries for Fall 2017.
“Additionally, after meeting with the Chair of the Astronomy and Physics department, Dr. Athanasios Petridis, I knew it was home,” Heimermann explained. “With a faculty-student ratio of 1:2 and the genuine care and desire for their students to succeed, I knew that I would get all the help and motivation that I needed. Drake University was the only school that seriously had everything. It was the perfect package.”
However, some students transfer out of Drake for the same reasons other student’s transfer out of other universities. Jessica Onove, now a senior at Iowa State University, transferred out this year. “I didn’t feel like Drake was a good fit for my academic needs and desires. After three years, I still didn’t feel supported. I used to love school but Drake just gave me anxiety.” Onove continued to say that she picked Iowa State due to the proximity to Drake where her friends attended, as well as the atmosphere and large student body.
Transferring to a four-year university after attending a community generally is less expensive than enrolling straight away because the cost of general classes have already been covered. However, some students find it harder to socially adjust or make new friends since most their classmates have already met each other. Drake, like most universities, offers orientation specifically for transfer students.
Onove says that she has no intentions of returning to Drake. “It’s such a relief to enjoy class again and be surrounded by people who actually want to be there. I do miss a few people and groups at Drake but I think I can still keep the connections that I made since I’m so close. I’m excited at the prospect of expanding my friends groups and connections at ISU.”
On the other hand, Heimerman expressed satisfaction with the university.
“They also took every single one of my general credits and did as much as they could to make sure I wasn’t wasting my time or money,” Heimmermann said. She claimed that the difficulty of the course work is irrelevant to the value of the education she receives. “I know that at Drake I am getting a much better education, and I appreciate it so much more than I would if I had just started coming here as a freshman with no college experience.”