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- Are you unhappy with the academic level of the classes? Are they too challenging or not challenging enough?
- Do you want a stronger program for your major? Or does the school not offer a program for the field that interests you?
- Is the school too expensive? Do you need a more economic alternative?
- Do you feel out of place socially? Does the social life fail to answer your needs and interests?
Even if your reasons are strong, you may want to take a little more time to see if the problem resolves itself at your own school. And before you choose to transfer, keep in mind some serious considerations:
- If you've done upper-level coursework for your major, the credit might not transfer to your new school.
- Once you've transferred, you might be required to complete a number of credits at your new school before you can graduate—even if you finish your major requirements earlier.
- Transferring may make your education cost more. In addition to application fees ($30-$70 depending on the school), you may end up paying for more courses because credits won't transfer. And it may take longer to graduate, which means living expenses for extra semesters.
- Financial aid offers when you are a transfer student are often not as generous as they are for new incoming students.
Also do some careful research on your intended school. Ask about which course credits are likely to transfer and how the transfer will impact your schedule for graduating. (Will you have to take summer school or re-take courses?) And talk to the financial aid officer at your intended school to get some sense of the financial aid realities beforehand. Are you considering transferring for better art opportunities? Consider these art schools. Talk to your parents or a school counselor before making any final decisions. And check to see if your school has a transfer counselor who can help with the whole process. Getting In... Again Transfer acceptance rates can vary widely among schools. "Some schools are more selective, and they may not accept transfers as readily," Burk says. Whereas the Massachusetts Institute of Technology admits only a small number of transfers, Northern Illinois University accepts as many as 2,500 each year. To consider a student for transfer acceptance, most colleges will require a GPA of above 2.0 and a minimum—and maximum—number of course credits or hours. Talk to an admissions officer at your intended transfer college for specifics. The Application Process Applications are typically due in early spring for the fall term and late fall for the spring term. Be prepared for application fees of anywhere from $30 to $70. Most applications require official high school and college transcripts, a financial aid transcript, descriptions of your college coursework and entrance exam scores. See your scholarship matches -- we've tailored this list to fit your qualifications. Be sure to follow up on paperwork you've requested from your school. "The school sometimes doesn't act on it right away, and you don't want it to be late," says John Boswell, director of admissions at the University of Utah. Getting Credit Where It's Due Most universities readily accept credits for introductory courses but may put more restrictions on advanced or elective courses. Private universities may also deny community college credits because they may not think that community colleges meet their standards. If you don't receive credit right away for all courses, try to appeal the decision upon acceptance. Remember that your decision to transfer is as complicated and important as your decision to apply for college the first time. Take some time and do some research to be sure you're making the right move.