Guide to Transferring Colleges

April 25, 2017

Life is complicated and unpredictable, so there’s no guarantee that you will graduate from the same college you’ve been accepted to. It might be surprising, but almost a third of undergraduates change institutions before getting their Bachelor’s.

There are many reasons why one may decide to swap schools. Perhaps, the new college can provide opportunities that the old one lacked. Perhaps, you’ve decided on a major and the other school has a better program. Maybe you just need a change of scenery. All of these are valid reasons to transfer. However, the process may seem daunting. This is why we’ve prepared a four step guide to make the change easier for you!

Spend some time thinking about your decision

Honestly, the only reason you need for transferring is being unhappy with your current situation. Many people are just way too young when choosing a college to make a good decision. That doesn’t mean you have to be miserable for whole four years. Now, that you understand what the world of academia is like, you can make better choices.

Try to remember that you future career strongly depends on you first degree. If you dream of becoming a doctor, a school with a bad or non-existent pre-med program is definitely not for you. Many people attend a community college to save funds and transfer after graduation or start their education at their second-choice university planning to transfer later on.

The only non-valid reason to transfer is trying to get into a school with better brand recognition. It might be less advantageous than you think, and you don’t want to go through the fairly arduous process of changing colleges again.


Make a plan before acting

You might think you are ready for transferring because you already have the experience with enrolling in college. However, these two processes are quite different. First, you high school grades will matter much less than you college GPA, so keep those grades up if you want to get into a better school. If your SAT scores are less than stellar, consider retaking the test.

The best times to transfer are the summers after your freshman and sophomore years. Changing schools later on can be more difficult because of the credit system. Some schools won’t even consider your credits if the grade is lower than C.

Take the necessary actions

Letters of recommendation from you professors can play an important role as opinions of someone who has already seen you in a college environment matter more than those of you high school teachers. Don’t worry about your educator’s displeasure at your leaving. After all, they should all have your best interests at heart.

Be mindful of deadlines. You can make a spreadsheet with all your target schools’ requirements, but don’t wait till the last possible moment to take action.

Whatever you decide to do, put your interests first and be mindful of the financial side of things.


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