For some students, the grass may be greener in a different courtyard.
This spring, 10 students requested to transfer out of Timothy Dwight College for the 2012-’13 school year — six more than last year, and more than any other college this year, according to John Meeske, associate dean for student organizations and physical resources. Students interviewed who applied to transfer from their residential colleges generally said they decided to move in order to live with their close friends, though two students in TD said the college’s distance from central campus also motivated their decisions.
Roughly 50 transfer requests are granted each year, Meeske said, but the number of requests per college varies unpredictably, and no college consistently has particularly high or low numbers of transfers requests.
“These numbers change radically from year to year,” he said. “One year, one college will have a ‘large-ish’ group going, and the next year, others will have more going.”
Students hoping to transfer explain their motivations to the masters and deans of their current college and the college in which they hope to live, and fill out a form with the students they hope to room with the next year. Whether a request is approved depends on the “housing capacity in the receiving college,” TD Master Jeffrey Brenzel said.
Hannah Flaum ’15, who is transferring from TD to Ezra Stiles College, said that while TD has a “great community,” she wanted to be closer to Payne Whitney Gymnasium and live with her friends in Stiles. Students who live in more central colleges are always relatively close to their friends, she said, adding that TD is “more isolated” than other colleges.
Chris Carey ’15, whose request to transfer from TD to Berkeley was denied, said TD is far from many of his friends, but his main reason for wanting to transfer out was related to his potential living situations in the college.
“A good number of the kids I could have seen myself rooming with in TD were either transferring themselves or had already set up rooming for next year,” he said.
Carey said that his rooming situation has “worked out,” though he was disappointed that his request was not approved. He added that he will probably live off campus during his junior and senior years.
Three other freshmen who are transferring from TD declined to comment on their experiences.
Three students interviewed in other residential colleges who are transferring all cited friendships outside their own colleges as motivating factors for the switch.
Lauren Hickey ’15, who is transferring from Branford to Davenport, said she decided to leave Branford after Thanksgiving break when she realized that her “lasting friendships” were all outside of her residential college.
“I never really felt a huge connection to Branford at the start,” she said.
Marc DeWitt ’15, who is transferring from Saybrook to Ezra Stiles, said while other members of his entryway in Vanderbilt “bonded very quickly” at the beginning of the year and are planning to live together in Saybrook next year, he made his friends while rushing fraternities and participating in Yale’s Orientation for International Students.
Two transferring students added that they wished information on how to transfer was more readily available to students. Sophie Kaye ’15, who is transferring from Morse to Saybrook, said the transfer form is due two months before the housing draw, but she felt that the deadline was not publicized well. She added that she thinks many students who were considering transferring missed the deadline. Hickey said she also had trouble finding information about the transfer process, adding that when she first approached her freshman counselor for advice, her freshman counselor did not know how the procedure worked. The fall 2011 enrollment for Yale College was 5,322, according to the Office of Institutional Research.