Transferring colleges can be difficult socially and economically. Transfer students have to make new friends, keep in touch with the old ones, learn about college transfer requirements and transferring credits and make financial arrangements with their new school.
Here are some tips for college students considering a college transfer.
Reasons for transfer students
There are many reasons students transfer schools. Some are due to financial issues, classes that are too difficult, uncomfortable atmosphere or expectations from the school, different goals for a college education or change of major, transfer from community college to four-year college, distance from home and homesickness or living in the dorm or off-campus experience.
Decide to stay put?
When considering transferring, think strongly about the reason you want to move. Perhaps if you gave more thought to the reason, you might decide to change your attitude, work through your initial problem or change some aspect of your life at the first college and decide to give your school a second chance. Ultimately, though, you need to decide what will make you the happiest so you can get the most out of your college experience. And that might mean you need to transfer.
- Make a careful decision. You need to select your second college very carefully. Check their transfer rate, financial aid, scholarship program, etc., but also their school spirit, social media, ratings and selection of majors and courses.
- Transferring takes time. You can’t just decide you want to go to College B if College A didn’t work out. You need to have been accepted into College B as a high school senior, or else go through the application process again with your new College B choice. Sometimes it takes up to two application cycles to get accepted. Colleges fill up for the season and accept a limited number of transfers.
- Know what you want to study. Be very sure you’ve chosen the right school for you and what your academic goals are. In “Firsthand Advice on College Transfers” by Samantha Wilson posted in The Choice blog at The New York Times October 24, 2011, Shawn Abbott, assistant vice president of admissions at New York University, said, “I’m not aware of many universities that will admit transfer students who are entirely undecided about their academic plans…We expect that transfer students are—at this point in their college career—a little more self-directed and focused.” Colleges look carefully at transfer students’ GPA.
- No excuses. In “10 Tips for Prospective College Transfer Students” posted in HuffingtonPost.com December 30, 2011, Rebecca Joseph, Associate Professor, California State University, Los Angeles, explained, “When speaking to a young man who is desperately unhappy at his college, I realized he had higher expectations than reality. I reminded him that a low fall GPA would limit his chances of transferring and told him that colleges will look at his senior year grades and his active involvement on his current campus. No transfer college wants excuses.”
- Be sure your credits transfer. The most important thing is that your credits transfer with you to your new school. You don’t want to lose a year or two of credits. Consult your prospective new school on what credits will transfer.
- Break out of your comfort zone. According to a writer at CollegeFashion.net in “My Transfer Student Experience & 4 Tips for Transfer Success” posted June 3, 2016, “Being a transfer student isn’t easy. Once I transferred, I had to make a real effort to get involved and meet people at Fordham [University]. I joined a lot of clubs on campus and went to a lot of campus events. That’s how I made most of my new friends here.”