Spring semester brings new students and new challenges



Butler gained 65 transfer students for the 2014 fall semester and about 20 additional students for the spring semester..

Spring semester transfers face different challenges than fall semester transfers.

Unlike the transfer students who arrive at the beginning of the fall semester,  sophomore Prince Kapoor said spring transfers only receive one day of orientation.

Kapoor said the biggest struggle of transferring derived from the lack of “welcome week” the new fall students participate in.

“Butler is such a small school,” Kapoor said. “Everyone has assimilated and fallen into friend groups. Greek rush just ended. We didn’t get the ‘welcome week.’ We did get to sit down and meet other transfer students, though, so the hardest part is making friends.”

Jennifer Griggs, director of the learning resource center, said she recognizes this difficulty when planning, and the departments try to make this transition as easy as possible.

“The residence hall dynamic from fall to spring is very different.” Griggs said. “To be the new person on the block when everyone is excited about their new friends and greek life isn’t easy. I think it is hard to be the new person and watch everyone else in their established relationships.”

In 2013, 88 percent of students who transferred as freshmen stayed until at least junior year.

“Every student has a different story,” Griggs said. “Each one is at a different place and is coming to Butler for different reasons.”

Among those students was Kapoor. He said he did not do well academically in high school and continued that pattern his first year of college at Washtenaw Community College in Michigan.

“I failed every class my first semester of college,” Kapoor said. “I really worked hard to get my grades up. I learned new study techniques and I took easier classes that led up to the classes I had to take.”

Two years later he improved his grades and made the decision to move forward with his life, Kapoor said. He applied to seven different schools as a transfer student for the 2015 spring semester.

Kapoor received acceptance letters from each school he applied to, including the University of Michigan and Butler University.

After visiting Butler University in August, he fell in love.

“I loved the feel of the school,” Kapoor said. “I felt like I belonged. I was so eager to go here. Butler was way too good.”

Before he made his decision, Kapoor said spoke with a transfer counselor who spent an hour and a half speaking with him. The counselor took the time to listen to all he had to say. This experience further built his connection with Butler.

In addition to the transfer counselor, transfer students interact with multiple departments to help ease the process. Among these departments is the Learning Resource Center.

“Bringing in new students is a campus effort,” Griggs said. “We try to be a liaison, a point place for new students starting mid-year. During break, we know there are a lot of departments that aren’t open or are busy with finals. Once a student has paid their deposits, our office steps in and provides that solid ground by reaching out to them.”

Similar to sophomore Kapoor, Aya Tomozawa received guidance and support during her transfer to Butler.

Tomozawa transferred once before arriving at Butler. After high school, Tomozawa attended Ohio Northern University. She said she did not like the school and transferred for personal reasons. She attended Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis before finding her way to Butler in the fall of 2014.

“I applied when I was going into freshman year,” she said. “It was like going through it as a freshman. Butler gave me a lot of aid. It was not as confusing as IUPUI. The campus was weird. There wasn’t much support at IUPUI.”

Kapoor said he does not plan on leaving Butler for the remainder of his academic career.

“Every day I am happier about my decision,” Kapoor said. “I walk around and meet new people, new professors. And the things that teach us and the way the professors teach us are just so unique. Coming from a community college with large class size and a large high school, I didn’t get the personal attention that I get at Butler.  Everyone is helping me be successful.”