Transfer students feel at home at FAMU

Devan Vilfrard transferred to FAMU from FSU. Photo courtesy Devan Vilfrard

Most students come to Florida A&M as 18-year-old freshmen without previous college experience. However, many students transfer to FAMU from around the country every year in an attempt to acquire their bachelor’s degree. Some of the transfer students go to community colleges so they are not spending as much on college, whereas others didn’t get what they expected from their previous college.

FAMU alumna Aaliyah D. McCrary came to the university as a freshman and eventually transferred to Florida State College in Jacksonville, then transferred to Tallahassee Community College, but found her way back to FAMU.

“While at TCC I was helping with FAMU’s TSA (Transfer Student Association) and doing a variety of other things which kept me connected to FAMU,” McCrary said. “One of the things I love about FAMU is they have a wide range of organizations dedicated to the advancement of the students.”

Other transfer students had the same inclination about FAMU and the many organizations it has to offer. Nedjie Content, a senior accounting major from West Palm Beach, also transferred from TCC. While at FAMU Content has become a member of Big Sister Little Sister, Melodic Stepping Inc., National Association of Black Accountants and the Transfer Student Association.

“What I like most about FAMU is the relationships you build through organizations,” Content said. “I wouldn’t have grown as much. Networking, community service being involved has shaped me into the person I am today.”

Along with the organizations helping the transfer students get acquainted with the campus, the transfer students say they also like the feeling of family on FAMU’s campus. Devan Vilfrard, a senior political science major with a minor in pre-law and military science from Fort Lauderdale, transferred from TCC as well. Vilfrard attended Florida State before coming to FAMU but felt like an outcast there.

“I am in the military so I was in FSU’s ROTC program, but I didn’t feel included. I felt like an outcast, like no one understood me or my culture while I was there,” Vilfrard said. “At FAMU when I went to the ROTC program here everyone spoke and was getting to know me. It’s like a big family.”

Vilfrard also says that the student culture is what made FAMU even more appealing to him.

One of the biggest problems that most FAMU students disliked was the lack of help from the administration in the Financial Aid and Registrars offices.

“The administration, whether it is financial aid, student accounts or registration or advising it is very slow and sloppy. They mistreat students or talk to them anyway. It’s just a lot of things administration can improve upon,” Vilfrard said.

Transfer students who come into FAMU are enticed by the supportive family-like culture at the school. However, they also seem to agree that the university’s administration needs work.