Getting FM degree before transferring has benefits

Taking the leap from high school to college life can be stressful and challenging for today’s young adults. One early admission graduate, Mallory Houghton, transitioned to a private four-year university last fall after completing early admission as a high school senior at Fulton-Montgomery Community College.

It was her stellar grade-point average and class rank, combined with extracurricular accomplishments through both high school and FM, that helped her to be accepted as an incoming freshman at this competitive private institution, and she was thrilled to start her journey there. I was very surprised but also elated when I got the call from Mallory in November. She was unhappy with her choice and “missed” FM and wanted to come back in the spring semester.

“In high school, I took various honors classes and a full course load. When planning my schedule for senior year, my counselor had recommended looking at the early admission program at FM because I had taken most of my high school graduation requirements and had a lot of electives I could choose from at the college level,” explains Mallory. “I took a combination of classes at the high school and others at FM. The credits that I earned transferred with ease to the private university I chose to attend last semester. My experience at that university, though, was one that I could have lived without; I was in a very large city, in classes where 300-plus students was the norm, and I felt like nothing but an ID number in class. My instructors didn’t know me, my adviser didn’t know me, and I felt removed from everything. I missed the small class experience I had at FM and the friendships I had made. By mid-terms, I decided to reapply to FM for spring and save a lot of money in the long run, while figuring out my next transition. I enrolled full-time at FM in the spring and decided to stay and graduate from FM with my associate’s degree, planned for December 2016. I’m joining the National Honor Society this semester, and I’ve already become treasurer of Community Outreach Club on campus. This was the best fit for me.”

Private universities have a lot to offer, and I wouldn’t try to sway any student, early admission or not, from applying and attending, if that is their goal and their dream. However, as an academic adviser at FM for nearly a decade, I’ve seen the benefits of starting and graduating from FM before transferring, both financially and otherwise, for students like Mallory and so many others. The private university that Mallory attended last fall costs over $50,000 per year with room/board, tuition and fees. FM’s current tuition is $3,900 per year for in-state residents not living on campus. I encourage every local student to consider FM and start the four-year university transition with us first. The education is top-notch and the faculty and staff here know you by name, not by number.

FM is hosting an early admission student information night on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. in O’Connell Hall. All high school juniors and the public are invited to attend. For more information or to register online, please visit or contact admissions at 736-FMCC (3622), Ext. 8301.

Christie Crawford is early admission liaison and academic adviser at FM.

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