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Montgomery College Student Success Stories

Oh, the Places They Go
College’s Students Transfer Across the State—and Across the Nation

Montgomery College Today, Spring '05

Montgomery College alumna Evelyn RojasWhen it came time to choose a transfer school, Montgomery College 2004 graduate Lisa Ku faced almost an embarrassment of riches. Should she accept a scholarship from the University of Virginia or George Washington University? Or should she enroll at William and Mary or Georgetown?

Levis Koloko ’04 faced a similar dilemma. Georgia Tech accepted him, but the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, offered him a full scholarship and a coveted place in the Meyerhoff Scholars program. Evelyn Rojas ’02 wavered between Cornell and the University of Pennsylvania, as she considered scholarship offers from Washington College and University of Maryland College Park. Ku, Koloko, and Rojas typify the types of students who contribute to Montgomery College’s track record of placing students at four-year schools across the state of Maryland— and across the nation.

Nation’s Elite Schools Among Transfer Sites
According to 2004 student enrollment data provided by the National Student Loan Clearinghouse, nearly 4,400 MC students with 12 or more credits transferred to 321 four-year institutions in 42 states and the District of Columbia. The top four transfer choices were University of Maryland College Park, 1,336 students; University of Maryland University College, 772; University of Maryland, Baltimore County, 477; and Towson University, 211. And although Maryland’s four-year public schools were the most popular with MC transfer students, they also enrolled at other prestigious institutions as Johns Hopkins, Georgetown, Howard, College of William and Mary, University of Virginia, University of Pennsylvania, Carnegie Mellon, Cornell, University of Chicago, NYU, University of North Carolina, Mount Holyoke, Smith, Rhode Island School of Design, Bennington,Washington
University of St. Louis, and Vanderbilt, to name but a few.

Lisa Ku, of Silver Spring, transferred to Georgetown University to major in international politics. She participated in Montgomery College’s highly selective Montgomery Scholars Program and was also a Macklin Business Institute honors student. “I wanted to be at a school where the professors were accessible,” said Ku. I liked the humanities focus of the Scholars Program at MC. I also wasn’t sure what I wanted to major in, so the school seemed a perfect match. “[Montgomery College’s] Endless Possibilities ads are true,” said Ku. “The quality of the Scholars and Macklin programs is way up there with the best of them.”

Levis Koloko, from Arlington, Va., transferred to Georgia Tech to major in civil engineering. A native of Cameroon who came to the U.S. in 2001, Koloko admitted he was frustrated at first when he learned he would have to begin with noncredit English classes at MC. “I had a great experience there,” he said. “At first I didn’t like it, but I knew in my heart I needed to take the reading and writing courses.” Professor Don Day, mentor to legions of students, encouraged Koloko to major in civil engineering at MC. “Dr. Day has many students from Africa and he knows their unique situations. He supported me and helped me a lot,” said Koloko.

Evelyn Rojas, of Silver Spring, transferred to Cornell. She graduated from the Ivy League institution in January 2005 with a 3.74 grade point average. She plans to attend law school in the fall, and is waiting to hear back from Cornell, Harvard, Columbia, and NYU, among others. An honors student and English major at MC, Rojas emigrated to the U.S. from El Salvador in 1990. She chose Montgomery College for its affordable tuition. “I definitely took challenging courses at MC,” said Rojas. “I felt very prepared for Cornell.”