Students have different reasons to transfer colleges.
Love interests and different climates have been known to motivate college transfers, according to a USA Today article, while features that one school lacks – sports programs or other activities – also can prompt students to consider a switch.
The National Student Clearinghouse Research Center found that 37.2% of the 3.6 million students that started college in 2008 transferred schools once within the subsequent six years; 45% of those students transferred more than one time.
If you’re a student pondering a transfer, you’ll want to do it right. Each school has different transfer policies. New England College, for example, grants automatic acceptance to any student that attended a regionally accredited community college. Other things to keep in mind as you consider a transfer:
- Decide what you want to study. Indecision is not going to help you get admitted to a new school. By the time you’ve decided to transfer, you should have had enough exposure to academic coursework and your career options to focus on where you see yourself going.
- Do your homework. Find out if your college of choice has an articulation or transfer agreement with your current school to learn what credits the new college accept and if the transferred courses will satisfy any requirements. Research a school’s academic profile, transfer admission criteria and other information.
- Stay on top of deadlines and any necessary paperwork. Each school has different application deadlines, so stay on top of them. Having the right documentation available will also smooth the way: letters of recommendation from one or two professors, records of your academic achievement, as well as work and volunteer activities, according to a Huffington Post article.
- Know how your credits count and where you stand on finishing. Examine your transcripts at your new college to understand where you stand in terms of course credits and what you need to graduate, according to a post on Odyssey Online. What may count as a science requirement at one school may only count as an elective at your transfer school. Make a habit of planning out your schedule for the entire year; map out the terms left to complete your requirements, and figure out what you need.
- Get the academic help you need. A good advisor will make a difference in the long term to help you make effective academic choices that may eventually lead to good career choices. Find one for your major and one for your minor – or one advisor who can serve both and help you organize your classes.
Making the decision to transfer to a different college may end up being one of the smartest moves you make for a rewarding academic experience. Paying attention to the details can facilitate the process and increase your odds of success.