Forty-three percent of students enrolled at the Columbia University School of General Studies transferred after attending community college. In honor of National Transfer Student Week, we are highlighting many of our students and alumni who transferred to GS, as well as offering insight into the unique role that community colleges play in making higher education possible for nontraditional students.
Transfer Student and Alumni Profiles
Friday Forum: Transfer Students at GS
Prospective students are invited to join us for the opportunity to engage with current students at the School of General Studies who have previously attended other colleges. You will hear firsthand about their transition to Columbia University, including challenges and triumphs. You will also have an opportunity to present any questions you may have to our student panel.
Fri., October 20, 2023, 4 - 5 PM ET
The GS Transfer Student Community, By the Numbers
Community Colleges in New York
GS has forged a strong relationship with New York City and Tri-State community colleges, attracting hundreds of high-achieving students seeking a rigorous, Ivy League education. 27% of transfer students at GS come from New York City, and 45% come from the Tri-State area.
Each year, GS offers 10-15 new student scholarships in the amount of $25,000-$35,000 per academic year to students who have attended a City University of New York (CUNY) community college. CUNY Scholar Sacha Telfer '22GS reflects on her community college experience at the Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) and what it was like transferring to Columbia.
The CUNY Accelerated Study in Associate Program (ASAP) is an academic program that helps students stay on track for graduation by providing a range of financial, academic, and personal support. Before enrolling at GS, Paola Cruz '22GS attended LaGuardia Community College and participated in ASAP. "Through ASAP, I learned that some of the graduates of the program ended up going to elite schools like Cornell, Columbia, and Stanford. I began to think that maybe I could also do it."
Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society
Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) recognizes the academic achievement of college students and provides opportunities for its members to grow as scholars and leaders. Established in 1918, PTK has a presence on almost 1,300 community college campuses in 11 nations. More than 3.8 million students have been inducted since 1918, with approximately 250,000 active members in the nation’s community colleges, making Phi Theta Kappa a true catalyst among members and colleges.
Scholarships are available each academic year to PTK members, based on the student’s academic merit and financial need. Last year, PTK scholars received nearly $1.5 million in aid from GS.
Lori Paulson '21GS transferred to GS from North Seattle College in Fall 2018 after working in retail management and operations for nearly 12 years. Before graduating in Spring 2021, Lori studied psychology and served the GS community as a Peer Advisor and assistant for the Communications Office.
Enrollment data as of October 1, 2023