3 Things to Keep in Mind When Transferring Universities

Whether your dream college let you down or financial troubles are dampening your college experience, transferring universities is a great solution to many higher education conflicts. In fact, about a third of all college students choose to transfer universities for a variety of reasons, according to a recent report from the National Association for College Admission Counseling. However, before you pack your bags in anticipation for a new campus and new college experience, you will need to keep three things in mind to make the transfer experience as painless as possible.

  1. Before you even think about transferring, research your transfer options. Before you go through the hassle of leaving your current institution, make sure that the other school you are considering truly offers a better experience. Take the time to understand why your current school troubles you. Make a list of the things that you want from your college, but remember to be realistic as well. Chances are you will need to make some personal sacrifices no matter what school you attend. If your issues with your current school have to do with people, remember that in the next semester or school year, you can choose to live with another person or take different classes. If your issues are with finances, talk to your college counselor to see if there is a way to make the cost of attending school more manageable. Sometimes, you can fix the things that are wrong with your current university without having to leave. However, if you still desire to transfer, make sure that your new prospective school meets your requirements. If possible, visit the new school’s campus to get a better idea of what life is like there. That way, you can make a more informed decision when it comes to choosing the right transfer school.
  2. Look over your credits and graduation schedule. Transferring colleges can mess up any four-year plan that you may have had mapped out. This is because while many courses easily transfer from one university to another, things can get tricky when it comes to transferring degree-specific courses. Most schools will only count degree-specific courses taken at that school towards graduation requirements. This can lead to many unfulfilled degree requirements that students will be expected to fulfill before graduating, which means that you may have to catch up on classes or graduate late. Transferring from a public to a private institution is tricky, and so is transferring from one state to another because education requirements may be different. Get in contact with your new school’s admissions office to coordinate which credits will transfer and where you will stand in terms of your graduation schedule afterwards. Be sure to have your transcript and course descriptions ready to make the process easier. Remember that the longer you are in school, the more you will have to pay for tuition.
  3. RSVP your spot for a transfer student orientation before classes begin, or find out if you can sit in on a freshman orientation. The hard truth is that there are few formal resources for transfer students to get to know their new schools, unlike for freshman students, who tend to have various school-sanctioned welcoming sessions. For this reason, it is important that transfer students take advantage of the school’s transfer student orientation session because it will allow you to tour the school, get to know some of your fellow transfer students, and have some of your concerns answered. If a transfer student orientation session is not available, you can ask to sit in on a freshman orientation session, which is essentially the same thing.

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