This time of year I start to hear from more students that are considering transferring colleges. While there are many reasons that a student might want to transfer, some of the more common reasons relate to poor decision making when first choosing a college. Unfortunately, many transfer students use the same bad reasoning in choosing their transfer college that they used in finding their first college. So how should a potential transfer student consider what college to attend?
First, go back to basics and consider what you really want from a college. Pretend that you are a high school senior with all of your options open. What does your ideal college look like. Big, small, academically oriented, party school, that sort of thing.
Second, look at what factors are making you consider transferring to another college. Keep those factors in mind as you look for a transfer school. If your current college doesn’t have the major you want, make sure your transfer college does. If you are not comfortable with the atmosphere of your current college, talk to as many students as possible at your potential transfer colleges to make sure it doesn’t have the same feel.
Third, before getting too excited about a particular new college, look to see what kind of transfer admissions rate they have. Many of the highly selective colleges have very low transfer admissions rates because so few students transfer out of these schools. Not sure what percent of transfer students a college normally accepts? Give the college admissions department a call and ask them.
If the cost of your current college is more than you and your family can handle, then you need to make sure that any transfer college will be cheaper or have better financial aid. The same issues that apply to freshman students apply here so if you have questions go to the Financial Aid Basics page.
For more information to help you decide if transferring colleges is in your best interest, take a look at our page on college transfer help.