Is It Worth It? 6 Reasons to Transfer Colleges

What are the reasons you shouldn't transfer? Find out the good reasons and not so great reasons to transfer.

Kathryn Knight Randolph

March 14, 2023

Is It Worth It? 6 Reasons to Transfer Colleges
Don’t feel challenged? You may have reason to consider transferring schools.
To transfer or not to transfer? That is the question. Unfortunately, it’s a very loaded one. The decision to transfer can be emotionally, financially and physically exhausting. Therefore, it wouldn't be beneficial to go through the process without very good reason. Fighting with your roommate or a dislike of the campus dining options aren't good enough reasons to call it quits. However, if your happiness is at stake, and you fall into one of the following categories, it’s recommended that you begin begin the transfer process now.
“Should I transfer colleges?” We’re giving you six smart reasons to transfer colleges and the four reasons it is bad to transfer colleges, below.

Good Reasons to Transfer Colleges

You want to change majors.

Approximately 30% of students change their college major once before graduating with their bachelor’s degree, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
From there, about 50% of students switch majors at some point, most commonly two or three times. Given those statistics, the chances are high that you’d find a field or major that you love while you’re attending a school that isn’t offering it. In that case, it may be time to consider transferring to a college that does offer your intended major. Just make sure that your decision is final before making the move. Also, talk to the registrar or your academic advisor about the possibility of creating your major. It may work in your favor to declare an independent or exploratory major in order to study in the field you love without must switch schools.

You need more challenging academics.

College is a time for you to stretch yourself. You’re paying for an education; to acquire knowledge and experiences you won’t get elsewhere. You should expect to feel challenged academically as a college student. If you’re not getting this experience, it may limit your growth and hinder your prospects of qualifying for a job after you’ve graduated college. Remember you’re investing time and money in an education that is far above basic. If you don’t feel challenged, especially after the first two years of college, you have reason to consider transferring schools.

You’re looking for more affordable tuition and living expenses.

College is, no doubt, an investment, but if the amount you plan to spend on school far outweighs that of your starting salary after graduation, it may be a sign to make a change. Especially if you’re not happy. If you’re looking to transfer because of money, focus on in-state public schools. They will provide the best deal for the cost of a good diploma. If you’re happy where you are, consider talking to the financial aid office about ways to make your tuition bill more affordable. Also, check out part-time job opportunities on- and off-campus. Generating more aid or income can enable you to stay at a school you love.

Your school location is not ideal.

Transferring because of location can mean a variety of things. First, you may want to transfer because the surrounding town around your campus has nothing to offer. For some students, that may not be an issue, especially if the campus has a lot of social events. However, if you feel like there is nothing to do on- or off-campus and you’d be happier in a setting that has more options, consider transferring. If you’re dead set on getting a job in New York City, Los Angeles or other specific location, you may want to transfer to a school in that area. The chances of you securing a job shortly after graduation are higher if you’re living where you intend to work. Keep in mind, though, that students from all over the country can successfully find jobs in their dream cities. It’s not the only reason you should have for transferring.

Finding the right environment so you thrive.

Whether it’s a good relationship gone bad or an environment that isn’t conducive to who you want to be and represent, sometimes you just need a new place to call home for the next four or five years. College is not just about discovering who you are but getting on the right track to who you want to be after you graduate. And you can’t do that if you’re unhappy. To recap, first ask yourself why you want to transfer schools. Is it a superficial reason that can easily be fixed with just a few changes? Or is your unhappiness at school clouding your ability to find enjoyment in anything at your school? Assess your reasons and start searching for schools that have what you need to make the most of your college experience.

Finding the right social scene so you can gain more experiences.

Some campuses party too hard; some, not enough. Social tastes seem to fall along the spectrum as do the social environments of each campus. If the partying is too much or the campus itself doesn’t have a lot to offer in the way of socializing, that could be reason enough to move. But before you make a major move, explore social events and opportunities on campus that you have looked over. There could be an organization you can join that provides plenty of entertainment and new friends. Essentially, don’t leave your school without giving the social scene a chance.

Poor Reasons to Transfer Colleges

Relationships are a current issue.

You’re bound to experience your fair share of relationship hurdles as a young adult. Don’t let a bad breakup or friendship gone sour, be the reason you decide to pack up and leave. Whatever the relationship circumstances, the tough times will pass. If you're experiencing a mix of emotions, consider talking to a counselor. Many colleges offer free or inexpensive services focused on emotional well-being. You shouldn’t be required to reset your life because of a relationship status

Your classes are too difficult.

College is not easy. You’ve signed up to challenge yourself with coursework at the university level. Wanting to transfer to another college because you have hard classes is never a good idea. In fact, you’ll ideally come upon similar, difficult courses at other colleges. Consider speaking to your professor, your academic advisor, and/or counselor to ask for help. Tutoring is also another idea for those hard college courses, and many colleges offer free tutoring services.

Having a bad roommate.

Like relationships being a poor reason to transfer colleges, bad roommates should not be the primary reason you want to leave college. You’re not the first student that has had a horrible roommate! Have a conversation with your roommate about your concerns and current struggle to find a solution. You may find this chat solves the problem. Your next step would be to reach out to your dorm room Resident Assistant (RA). Express to them that you’re really contemplating transferring colleges because of your current roommate experience. In most cases, the university housing staff will do their best to fix the situation!

You’re not liking your professors.

While it’s nice to have professors that are engaging and excited to be teaching, you’re sure to have a few professors during your college career that are just so-so. This is normal, as long as you’re not consecutively getting a bad professor each semester. Don’t transfer to another college campus just because of one professor. Take note of those instructors that you’re not a fan of and avoid enrolling in their courses. You can also use word-of-mouth or professor ranking sites before you pick classes and choose not to be their student. Remember, though, not liking a professor is different from a challenging professor. No matter where you are, transfer student or not, you’ll want to find ways to help make college more affordable. Create your free Fastweb profile to find scholarships that match you. You don’t have to pay back scholarships!!

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