'I really feel welcome,' says first Stark State student to transfer to UA under Direct Connect


Whitney Tarr, with Zippy, is the first Start State student to transfer to UA through Direct Connect

Whitney Tarr with Zippy. Whitney is the first Start State student to transfer to UA through Direct Connect, a partnership between the schools that make it easy to transition to Akron.

At first, Stark State student Whitney Tarr was intimidated by the idea of transferring to The University of Akron.

"I felt anxious," she said. "UA is so big."

But she was surprised by how easy it was. And by how helpful everyone was.

Now Whitney is excited to start here in January. She will be the first Direct Connect student at Stark State's Akron campus to transfer to UA.

Direct Connect makes it easy for Stark State students to transfer here.

"I didn't know where I stood, what credits transfer or how I would pay for it," she said. Answers came in meetings with Sarah Hoge, an advisor in the College of Applied Science and Technology, and Jennifer Harpham, director of student financial aid.

A student-led campus tour gave her confidence that she could feel at home here.

Whitney received a $100 Direct Connect Enrollment Award for completing the advising and financial aid sessions, and attending a campus event (athletics, career fair, ZPN movie, etc.). All Direct Connect students are eligible for the award.

Whitney will take most of her classes online, giving her the flexibility to continue working full time. Still she'll be on campus a lot, attending football games and career fairs, and exploring the library, which she calls "ginormous."

"I'm looking forward to starting at Akron," Whitney said. "I really feel welcome there."