Students transfer colleges for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, it is less expensive to get basic credits out of the way at a community college and then transfer to the school of your dreams. Other times, a college may simply be a poor fit for a particular student.
But transferring schools can be a lot of work, and can even put students on a different timeline for graduating. Is a transfer the right decision for you? Maybe. Here are four things to consider before transferring colleges:
1. Why do you wish to transfer?
If you’re considering a transfer, it is important to think about why you want to leave – and if your new school will satisfy that need. Many transfer schools will ask students why they’re headed out, so have an answer ready. It’s best to frame it in a positive way, and not dwell on or express extreme displeasure with your current situation.
If your reasons for wanting to transfer are good and the new school provides a suitable alternative that meets your needs, proceed – but positively.
2. What is the acceptance rate for transfer students?
You might think that having a few courses under your belt will help you be accepted at a new and bigger school, but this is often untrue. In some cases, transfer admissions can be significantly more competitive. Learn how the transfer admittance rate compares to your the first-year admittance rate at your school of choice. This will give you a better idea of your admissions chances as a transfer student.
You can also increase your chances of being accepted by keeping your grades high. It is one of the most important deciding factors for transfer student acceptance.
3. Will your credits transfer?
Perhaps the most important question you need to ask yourself is whether or not your credits will transfer to the institution you’re considering. Often, a class that counts toward your major at one university simply doesn’t at another. You may be able to get elective credit for that humanities seminar you took last semester, but it may not count toward your electrical engineering major at your new school.
Be sure to look into if and how your credits transfer before you commit yourself to another school.
4. What sort of financial aid are you eligible for?
Here’s the good news: Transfer students are often eligible for a lot of financial aid, particularly if they’ve earned good grades or demonstrate need. Be sure to speak with a financial aid representative at your prospective school. He or she will be able to provide you with all the necessary information you’ll need about scholarships and applying for aid. Also remember to keep up your grades – many financial aid opportunities are tied to them.
Many students choose to transfer schools at some point in their education. While it may seem like a lot of frustrating hurdles, it can be a great option for many students. Prepare for a little bit of hassle in the initial stages, but expect great things later on. Know that it is an experience shared by many students and, if you’re transferring for the right reasons and it makes academic sense to do so, it can end very positively.