Should I Transfer to a Different College?
If you are not satisfied with your current school, you have the option to transfer to a different college. In fact, as many as one-third of college students have transferred one or more times within a period of five years, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.
That means you are not alone in thinking about switching schools. There are many good reasons to do so, but sometimes it makes more sense to try to work things out at your current college.
Problems with Your Major
A good reason to transfer to a different college is that your current school does not offer your major. It is not uncommon to go into college without a clue what your major will ultimately be, so it might turn out that the major you finally choose will not be available at your current school.
Another possibility is that your major is offered at your college, but the program is not highly ranked. If you have found another college with a great program that you are interested in, it might be smart to transfer.
Things can change a lot in just a few years, especially when it comes to finances. Perhaps you were fine with your college’s tuition when you had a scholarship or grant, but now that you don’t have it anymore, you have no way to pay the bill.
In addition, many colleges gradually increase tuition every few years. If you suddenly realize you are paying double what you paid freshman year, asking yourself if you should transfer to a less expensive college may be wise.
If you think you can avoid a lot of debt by making the decision to transfer to a different college, you should look into this option. It is certainly better to transfer than to drop out of college altogether due to financial issues.
Even students who do lots of research before choosing a school may find that they simply dislike where they go to college. The reason may be as simple as a lack of trees, an abundance of old, unappealing buildings or weather that you cannot handle.
Visiting the campus before enrolling can help you avoid these issues, but it will not always prevent other problems that may persuade you to transfer to a different college. If you don’t feel safe on campus due to a recent crime streak, for example, or if you just find the students and teachers unfriendly, it may be best to transfer to a different college.
When Should You Stay?
Of course, you wouldn’t be asking yourself “Should I transfer to a different college?” if you were not aware of the drawbacks of switching schools. In some cases, you might want to think twice before you transfer.
For example, if you have only a semester or two until you get your degree, it is probably best to stay at your current school. Some transfer students have trouble transferring all of their credits to the new college, so if losing even a few credits would dramatically affect your plans to graduate, you should consider staying.
In addition, if the reason you want to transfer to a new college is temporary or very new, think about sticking it out at your current school. For instance, if you dislike a particular professor, want to transfer to a new boyfriend or girlfriend’s college or just lost your job, you should wait a bit before transferring.
For some students, transferring to a new college is a good idea, but the decision should not be made on a whim. To avoid attending a different school every year, think carefully before determining whether you should transfer to a new college.