University officials recently announced new criteria for students wishing to transfer into the Elliott School of International Affairs from another school within GW. After a temporary freeze on intra-University transfers, next semester any GW student in good academic standing with a 2.0 grade point average will be permitted to switch to the Elliott School. For incoming students, however, transfer requirements will be much more stringent – requiring students to take a year of foreign language, four prerequisite classes and to maintain a 3.0 grade point average. These requirements will reduce the amount of inter-University transfers in the future, but the University must solve the problems facing the Elliott School as a result of a poorly managed transfer policy in the past.
The Elliott School is becoming increasingly popular within GW and among new applicants. As its popularity increases, the number of students in the school itself has risen significantly. Foreseeing a problem, the Elliott School closed all in-school transfers last semester. Unfortunately, this action did not solve the demographic issue for current students. During registration for next semester, many Elliott School rising upperclassmen were unable to register for higher-level major requirements. Although the University cannot rectify this situation for current students, it must immediately raise the transfer threshold so the problem does not get worse for students now.
The Elliott School offers some of the most prestigious academic programs at GW. The University should work to ensure that this standard of excellence is upheld. It is difficult to imagine that a student maintaining a 2.0 GPA would be admitted into the Elliott School out of high school. Raising the GPA requirement for current student transfers to 3.0 would ensure the Elliott School maintains its prestige while also limiting new student transfers to the Elliott School until the new requirements take full effect.
To make sure current students are able to fulfill their degree requirements, the University must create a selective short-term transfer policy restricting new transfers. Doing so will maintain and increase the Elliott School’s prestige while simultaneously ensuring the high quality of education in the school itself.