SG advocates for more transfer interest groups to ease students’ transition to UT

Sara Schleede

With a rigorous academic environment, fast-paced city setting and a population of more than 50,000 students, UT can be difficult to adjust to as a transfer student. Student Government is setting out to change that.

SG passed Joint Resolution 8 on Tuesday, supporting an increase in transfer interest groups, or TRIGs, to be more proportionate to the first-year transfer student population.

“The studies and statistics from (first-year interest groups) show how much it helps the transition of coming into college, and there haven’t been that many opportunity for transfer students,” said Hannah Reinhard, transfer student representative and resolution co-author. 

UT accepted 2,245 transfer students last fall, with 27 TRIGs available for those students — an 83-to-1 ratio. By contrast, there were 300 FIGs offered for 8,381 first-time college students in the same semester, a ratio of 28-to-1.

“Sometimes we don’t think about how difficult it can be for a transfer student to come in because (we think), ‘They’ve already been to college so they’re fine,’” Reinhard, a government junior, said. “UT is a completely different beast to tackle.” 

According to the legislation, transfer students who are not in TRIGs have an average GPA of 3.19, while those in TRIGs have an average GPA of 3.34, in line with the average GPA for first-time college students in FIGs.

Previously, students needed to apply to join a TRIG, and some were turned away because of a lack of space. Transfer Student Agency director Camron Goodman said the agency hopes to make TRIGs a more easily available option, even though they don’t want to make them mandatory. 

The First-Year Experience Program, Transfer-Year Experience Program and colleges at the University will work together to find funding and provide more diverse classes for TRIGs, according to the legislation.

“Increasing some of the availability (of TRIGs) would make it easier for (transfer students) to have a little bit more of a set community and priority with certain classes,” said Justin Ahamed, natural sciences representative and neuroscience junior.

The resolution was approved with unanimous consent.  

“(Transfer students) have a voice, too, and we have a lot of resources here that can ease their transition into UT,” said Goodman, finance sophomore and resolution co-author. “We’re advocating not just for transfer students but … for nontraditional students as a whole.”