What to Do if You Feel Pulled to Transfer Schools

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December 7th, 2010

Being an undergraduate in college can be an exciting time. Most students use their newfound freedom to explore their interests and make new friends. It can be difficult though, when these things do not seem to fall into place. The possibility of transferring schools has probably passed through the minds of most college freshmen at one time or another, but what should you do if that thought is more constant than fleeting? For some students, transferring is sometimes a necessary step to get the most out of their education. It should, however, not be done without some necessary planning and consideration.

If you feel pulled to transfer schools, you first need to be realistic about why you want to transfer. If you are having problems making friends on campus or you don't like your mentor, you shouldn't transfer schools in the hopes that these types of problems will go away. There will be positives and negatives to every school and definitely plenty of hurdles along the way, no matter where you go. If you are having trouble socially, be honest with yourself. Is there truly no one on campus with whom you feel like you could connect, or are you just having trouble making connections? If you are having academic troubles, consider whether these could be solved if with the help of a tutor. If the problem is with you, address that, because it will follow you no matter where you go. Also, make sure to talk to someone about your desires before you decide to transfer on your own. Maybe a guidance counselor or professor could help you figure out ways to make your experience at your current college fit more closely with your needs.

If you still realistically need to transfer, figure out your priorities. Unless you are having major issues with the social climate at your school, transfer with your educational concerns as your first priority. Write down the problems you have with your current institution and what you would like to be different. If you don't feel fulfilled by your courses, you will want find a school with a more challenging program. If you want more course options in your desired major, make that a first priority.

Once you know what you are looking for, research your options. Find schools that fit your criteria, and investigate their transfer requirements. Call their registrars and look into which of your current credits will transfer. Compare the schools that will accept your transfer credits, and narrow down the best institutions for you. If none of your desired schools will accept your credits, that is not the end of the world, but weigh the benefits of transferring with the added time and cost it will take to make up those credits.

Transferring schools is a difficult process, but if you truly will benefit from a transfer and you find a great school for you, the decision should be easy.

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