Navigating Cabrini’s transfer process

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By Jedidah Antwi
September 19, 2023

The Partners Schools. On the left top corner the Eastern University entrance photo by Jedidah Antwi, on the right top corner Holy Family University photo by Holy Family University courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, on the left bottom corner Ursinus College Gate photo by Montgomery County Planning Commission courtesy of Flickr, on the right bottom corner Gwynedd-Mercy College Center for Lifetime Learning Public Ledger photo by Beyond My Ken courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
The Partners Schools. On the left top corner the Eastern University entrance photo by Jedidah Antwi, on the right top corner Holy Family University photo by Holy Family University courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, on the left bottom corner Ursinus College Gate photo by Montgomery County Planning Commission courtesy of Flickr, on the right bottom corner Gwynedd-Mercy College Center for Lifetime Learning Public Ledger photo by Beyond My Ken courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

On June 23, Cabrini announced to the public it will close in May 2024. Cabrini administration have said they will support students with their transfer process to find a new school for next year.

The mandatory meeting for seniors

Dr. Michelle Filling-Brown, dean of Academic Affairs at Cabrini, expressed the institution’s commitment to supporting students in making informed decisions about their academic paths. 

Filling-Brown emphasized the many pathways students can choose from in their transfer process.

“We have four main partner institutions: Gwynedd Mercy University, Holy Family University, Eastern University, and Ursinus College. Then we also have our affiliate school of Villanova and then we have a couple program partner schools,” she said.

Filling-Brown noted the one-on-one advisory meetings with students about the transitioning process. These meetings will take place early in this fall semester. 

According to Filling-Brown, senior and graduate students will receive an email from their departments explaining whether or not they are on track for graduation. They will have a meeting to go over the classes students are taking in the fall, and what they would need in the spring to complete their degree at Cabrini.

Filling-Brown said any seniors who will not be able to finish their studies this year will have a follow-up meeting.

The meeting for underclassmen

An email requesting a one-on-one meeting will be sent to first-year students, sophomores, and juniors. Students will meet with an academic advisor from the Center for Student Success, not with their department advisors. The meetings will take place at Grace Hall.

If the scheduled meeting conflicts with any class, students will be excused from that class. If students cannot attend the meeting, they must send an email to reschedule.

During the meeting, students will be given comprehensive details about various partner schools, including information about their degree programs. Representatives from partner schools will visit Cabrini to discuss the opportunities available at their respective institutions.

What if the schools don’t have my major?

According to Filling-Brown, in instances where there is not a matching major, these schools currently may not publicly list the existence of specific programs. However, Cabrini has received information indicating that certain programs are to launch in partner schools during the fall of 2024.

Information like this has not yet been made public, but advisors will share that information with students in their one-on-one meeting. 

What if I don’t want to attend a partner institution?

Filling-Brown said, in addition to discussing the four primary partner schools, the advisor will present additional alternatives during the meeting. So, if there’s a different institution a student wants to go to, the advisor will be able to talk about whether that institution is the best choice.

To determine what is best for the student, the advisors will consider all of the relevant factors, including the student’s major, location, pricing, and more. The advisors will try to find out which school would be best for students. 

The difference between “teachout” and “transition”

According to Filling-Brown, four main partner institutions, including Eastern University, Holy Family University, Gwynedd Mercy University, and Ursinus College, signed a memorandum of understanding, or MOU, with Cabrini to facilitate a “teachout” process. 

“These schools have all signed MOUs that provide for Cabrini students certain assurances of what they will experience if they transition to one of these schools in fall of 2024,” said Filling-Brown.

At these schools, there will be no fee to apply. Cabrini will provide transcripts to these institutions at no cost to the student.

These four institutions will teach out certain Cabrini majors. The schools will teach the classes Cabrini students need to complete their degrees. Therefore, students’ GPA and credits remain the same and there is no transfer credit evaluation. 

Teachout and Transition Infographic by Paige Bowman.
Teachout vs. transition. Infographic by Paige Bowman.

“So, instead of transferring, think of it as transitioning. What you already have at Cabrini can be transferred to one of these institutions, and it’ll maintain your pace to graduation. So it won’t suddenly take you longer to complete,” Filling-Brown said.

These four colleges also made a commitment to match Cabrini’s tuition and financial aid package, ensuring that students’ out-of-pocket expenses remain the same. Filling-Brown noted the teachout program is available to all Cabrini students who maintain a good academic standing and academic integrity and don’t have a balance or hold with Cabrini.

Students who don’t want to attend these four partner institutions can transfer to another institution. The student would have to pay an application fee, Filling-Brown said.

However, Cabrini students can apply to Villanova without an application fee. Villanova is not a partner school and is not a part of the teachout program. Students who want to transfer to Villanova or another non-partner institution will have to do a transfer credit evaluation. There’s a possibility that all their credits might not transfer over to those other institutions.

Some institutions claim they will match Cabrini’s tuition, but they do not say if they will match a student’s financial package, so students’ out-of-pocket costs will vary.

“There’s so much misinformation on social media and so many different schools are marketing to Cabrini students right now and I want to make sure that our students understand their options, understand benefits of the partner schools, and understand the process. Going to that meeting is really, really important to make sure you have all the information you need to make the best choice for you,” said Filling-Brown.

Students speak out 

Nolan Holloway, a senior accounting major, expressed his confidence in the partner schools’ teachout programs but thinks it will be a tough transition for juniors, sophomores, and incoming freshmen. He believes Cabrini is making every effort to support its students, leveraging both its own resources and those of the partner schools. 

Back View of Three People Walking on the Sidewalk by George Pak courtesy of Pexels
Students walking on a college campus. Photo by George Pak via Pexels.

Holloway said he likes that the partner institutions share similarities with Cabrini in terms of their faith-based foundation and size. 

Holloway encourages students to still explore all available options while acknowledging the excellence of those that stepped up. He said, “I think there’s so many options out there, so don’t just limit yourself to the four schools that are offering teachout programs. But obviously the schools that did step up are great schools. So, I don’t think you can go wrong.” 

Denisse Cruz-Cerrato, a sophomore early childhood and special education major, expressed her initial frustration about Cabrini’s communication.

“I didn’t like the fact that I had to hear it from other resources instead of the school at first and I mean, it’s pretty early now, it’s only the second week but no one personally has reached out to see what the next step is or offered to help or anything,” said Cruz-Cerrato.

Cruz-Cerrato acknowledged that most of the information about the transitioning process was included in a lengthy email sent by the school. She stated that there is a lot of information to be gained from the email if a student properly reads it, even if it is long.

However, she expressed uncertainty about the partner institutions. She feels uninformed about the partner schools and that she hasn’t gained any information about what these schools can offer her. There are also other schools reaching out to her, claiming to offer the same things as the partner schools.

Cruz-Cerrato’s advice to other Cabrini students is to “just take everything one step at a time and not try to freak out or anything; just try to find out what’s best for you.”

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Jedidah Antwi

My name is Jedidah Antwi. I am a sophomore, double-majoring in political science and digital communication. In addition to my academic studies, I have been selected to serve on the Executive Board of the Cabrini University Chapter of the National Society of Leadership and
Success. I am also a member of the Poetry Club and Cabrini on Immigration, a student organization that advocates for social justice and immigrants’ rights. I love history, politics, and fashion. My favorite things to do outside of class and the Loquitur are watching foreign films, going to church, and hanging out with friends. I want people to become engaged and aware of what is going on in their community. As a reporter for loquitur, I want to inform Cabrini students about the things that are happening on campus and around the world. I hope through the content I produce on the Loquitur that Cabrini students will become informed citizens.

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1 thought on “Navigating Cabrini’s transfer process”

  1. Cabrini students and their parents should be very careful about choosing where to transfer. I would caution against taking the advice of the same administrators who told you “everything’s fine!” for the past few years when everything was far from fine. Many of the schools they are recommending are also not on solid financial ground. Gwynedd Mercy, Eastern, and Holy Family have also struggled with major financial difficulties in the last several years, with Gwynedd being the most at-risk of that bunch, and Holy Family’s endowment hovering around a shockingly low $24 million. In addition, other Philadelphia-area private universities are also in bad shape, such as Rosemont, Chestnut Hill, Neumann, and La Salle. Think very carefully before committing to any of these schools.

    This list will help you get started in evaluating the financial health of some of these institutions:

    The only local Catholic university getting an A+ rating is Villanova, unsurprisingly. Saint Joe’s is doing “better” only because it recently merged with University of the Sciences, but their success may dwindle as the enrollment cliff approaches. If you choose a school that isn’t financially sound, you may find yourself with fewer resources and a dwindling alumni network post-graduation.

    Know that Cabrini administrators are seeking a “happy ending” for students, meaning simply that they want you to go elsewhere so they can close the book on this ugly chapter of the school’s (soon-to-be-distant) history. They want to just put students somewhere else and not have to think about you anymore and the terrible ways they screwed you over. They were dishonest for years; they told students that the school was salvageable; they recruited freshmen knowing full well the school was a sinking ship.

    Cabrini administration is NOT on your side. What they want is not necessarily what’s best for you. Choose your next college carefully.

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