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 the transfer process now.
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.
If your grades at your current university are such that you can get into a more prestigious school, it doesn’t hurt to try, right? Many students may not have the grades from high school to get into their “reach school,” but those grades can be made the first year of college.
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 are able to successfully find jobs in their dream cities. It’s not the only reason you should have for transferring.
About 80% of students begin their college career with an undecided major, according to NBC News
From there, about 50% of students switch majors at some point, most commonly two or three times. Given those statistics, the chances are pretty 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 have to switch schools.
5. Social Scene.
Some campuses party too hard; some, not enough. Social tastes seem to fall along a 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.
6. A Clean Start.
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.