“Transferring to RIC Was Seamless,” says Frederick Torres

Headshot of Frederick Torres

Between a tuition bill that came to a mere $100 and advisement that changed the trajectory of his future, Torres says he’s gotten all the support he needs . . . and then some.

Junior Frederick Torres is warm and personable. Upon meeting him, you get the feeling that he’s going places. Upon hearing him speak, you’re sure of it.

Torres enrolled at RIC as a business management major last fall, after earning his associate degree in business administration at CCRI. 

“I like business,” he says, “because I’m good at it – I’m good with numbers, with math, with the database and Microsoft Excel.” Torres also had an internship at Citizens Bank last summer. “It was amazing,” he says.

Like many transfer students, Torres enrolled at RIC through the Joint Admissions Agreement (JAA) Program. This is an agreement between RIC and CCRI, wherein if you are a JAA student and earn an approved associate degree at CCRI, you can get up to 30 percent of your RIC tuition reduced based on your CCRI GPA.

“I’ve been really fortunate,” Torres says. “I didn’t know how good I had it until I heard from my peers at other colleges and universities who are taking out loans.”

Torres graduated from CCRI with a 3.8 GPA and was on the Dean’s List twice. So, as a JAA student, he received a tuition reduction at RIC. That, combined with a Presidential Scholarship, resulted in Torres paying a mere $100.

What’s more, JAA students who maintain at least a 3.0 GPA at RIC continue to receive a tuition reduction in their second and third year. With his current 4.0 GPA and another Presidential Scholarship, Torres is guaranteed an almost tuition-free semester in the fall.

“I’ve been really fortunate,” he says. “I didn’t know how good I had it until I heard from my peers at other colleges and universities who are taking out loans.”

But transferring to a new college brings its own set of challenges. 

Like all transfer students, Torres was required to attend RIC’s Transfer Student Orientation. This is a one-day event in the summer before classes start in the fall. Orientation is designed to welcome and acclimate new students to the college. They’re informed about the full range of campus resources. They receive their student ID and parking pass. And they work one-on-one with an advisor to create their class schedules.

Meeting with an advisor is especially important for transfer students because they’re not coming in as freshmen. Though Torres came in as a business management major, he found that a summer job at the Apple Store was giving him second thoughts.

Head shot of Frederick Torres in computer lab
Frederick Torres in RIC’s computer lab.

“I didn’t realize how passionate I was about technology until I became a tech specialist for Apple,” he says. “I love teaching technology and learning technology. I’m the tech person in the family who everyone calls when they need help, whether it’s installing an application or explaining software.”

So, when Torres sat down with his advisor at orientation, one of the first things he asked was if a business major involved technology. Upon hearing that it did not, he knew a business career path was not for him.

“However, my advisor was very supportive,” he says. “He suggested I look into CIS [computer information systems], which is a mix of business and technology. I have to admit, I was super scared about changing my major. But being able to combine something I’m good at with something I’m passionate about is having the best of both worlds.”

“[My advisor] made the transition to a CIS major easy for me.”

Because the CIS program requires that students begin with a business foundation before taking computer science courses, Torres was already ahead of the game. His advisor was able to transfer all but one of his business credits earned at CCRI over to his new major. “Transferring to RIC has been seamless,” he says.

As for academic advisement, he says, “My advisor, Professor Bain, is amazing. If I’m not tracking my academic career, I know she is. Every time we meet, she has this Excel sheet. She says, ‘You’ve taken x, y and z courses, what do you want to do now?’ She gives me options. She’ll say, ‘Let’s look at these courses and see if they’re available online.’ She’s been really supportive. She made the transition to a CIS major easy for me.”

Looking back, Torres says, “Transferring to RIC and stepping onto its campus was like having my first day of college all over again. Though I spent two years at CCRI, I never set foot on the campus. Everything was remote due to COVID. It was nerve-racking at first, but coming to RIC turned out to be one of the best things I’ve ever done.” 

Torres’ advice to incoming transfer students? “If you’re concerned that an academic path doesn’t make sense for you, don’t be afraid to talk to your advisor. At the end of the day, they’re there to support you. They want to point you in the right direction. I mention support a lot when it comes to RIC because that’s what I’ve gotten here.”

Learn more about the Joint Admissions Agreement Program, Transfer Student Admission and Transfer Student Orientation.

For more information about computer information systems, visit the Department of Computer Science and Information Systems.