Spring Transfer (Mid-Year Entry)
Lewis & Clark accepts transfer students for both fall and spring (mid-year) entry. We welcome the maturity and diversity that transfer students bring to the College and will work with you to ease your transition into our community. However, you should be aware that transferring mid-year can be more difficult than entering in the fall. Spring students may be presented with several obstacles, and while none of these obstacles are insurmountable, they may make for a rougher transition to Lewis & Clark than if you had started at the College at the beginning of the school year. Please read over the following information before deciding whether spring entry is for you.
Cohort size and support
Most of our new students begin in the fall. We have over 500 new first-year students and around 50 new transfers join us in September, while in January, generally just 10 or so new transfers will begin. Thus, spring entry students don’t have the same cohort of students who are going through the same new student issues that they are. Because the number of incoming students is so small, we do not offer a new student orientation program before spring term classes begin. The first day of spring classes is the day after the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, and the campus opens to students on the Sunday preceding MLK Day. New spring students, then, have just two days to settle in to campus before classes begin — two days when most College offices are closed due to the weekend and the national holiday. While we do our best to meet the needs of all our entering spring students, be aware that some of the initial things new students need to take care of — including meeting with an academic advisor and completing course registration — may not happen until after classes begin.
Exploration and Discovery
Some mid-year students entering with first-year standing may be required to take the second semester of our first-year core class, Exploration and Discovery, in the spring. These students may then need to follow up with the first semester of the course the following term. The second semester of Exploration and Discovery does not directly build upon the first so it is entirely possible to have a successful academic experience, but it is a somewhat backwards approach to Lewis & Clark’s core program. Keep in mind new spring students in Exploration and Discovery will be in a class with other students who have shared common knowledge and experiences from the first semester of the course.
Spring entry students often find that financial aid, course registration, and on campus housing options are limited during their first term at Lewis & Clark. Financial aid may be limited because the bulk of our funds are distributed at the beginning of the school year, thus aid for incoming spring students consists of whatever sources are left over from fall. Certain institutional grants and scholarships as well as other sources of federal and state aid may be reduced or depleted. Students choosing mid-year entry should anticipate that financial aid awards for their first term at Lewis & Clark will not be as significant as awards may have been had students started at the beginning of the school year.
Mid-year entry students are presented with a similar situation when it comes to registering for spring courses. Our current students complete the spring registration process in November. Incoming spring students may register for the classes which still have available spaces, and that may mean new students’ course preferences cannot be met. That situation is typical for on campus housing as well. While there will most likely be room in the residence halls for interested spring students, generally the College won’t be able to accommodate personal preferences when it comes to halls, theme floors, or roommates – students will be assigned to whatever space may be available.
We stress that none of the above are insurmountable obstacles, and how much of an issue each presents varies a great deal from year to year and from student to student. If you do decide to pursue admission for spring, we encourage you to complete the application process as soon as you can. Spring applications don’t have to be completed until November 1, but the sooner we can get you through the admissions process, the sooner we can determine your financial aid award, register you for spring courses, and assist you in making your transition to Lewis & Clark.