August 25, 2013

Are you thinking about transferring from your current college?

Acceptance rates of transfer students tend to be lower than those of first-year applicants.  Sometimes the chosen major makes a difference as well.  It is important to be able to present a solid GPA as well as recommendations and an essay that clearly explains the reason for wishing to transfer.

Here are some important things to do:

  • Make a list of colleges to transfer to
  • Revisit the list of schools to which you originally applied
  • Find professors who will write you recommendations
  • Ensure that most of your courses and/or your associates’ degree will be accepted by the schools you have chosen
  • Check to see whether these schools acknowledge your current school’s accreditation
  • Articulation agreements:  Explore what the schools’ transfer agreements are with your current college.
    • Many community colleges and four-year schools participate in articulation agreements that allow smooth transfer of credits. These agreements list what course credits can be transferred.
    • If it is needed, be prepared to visit the admission officer, write a letter to explain the nature of courses you have taken. Sometimes the titles of the courses do not match up, but don’t give up: Often the admissions officer will consider your arguments and details.
    • When you write your personal statement which generally will ask about your reasons for wishing to transfer, you need to do some deep thinking.  You may also be asked what you hope to achieve by transferring to a different school.

Good reasons to transfer:

  • Academic:
    • You’ve decided on a major that is not offered by your current school
    •  Your major has recently been cut by your school
    • The school is academically too easy or too difficult for you and you have tried adjusting your curriculum choices
    • You are completing two years of community college, have achieved an associate’s degree, and want to continue your education
    • Personal/social:
      • Your family situation or finances have altered significantly
      • You have tried for a full year and you know that you and the school are a bad match
      • The campus or the surrounding environment is unsafe
      • You have lived at home and now wish to experience campus life

Don’t make a hasty decision about transferring.  For many students, this is the first time that they are truly on their own.  Often, first year students will:

  • feel lonely or out of place in the first few weeks or months of school
  • experience problems with roommates, difficulty making friends or finding your niche
  • have difficulty adjusting to the weather, the campus layout, or the food
  • be disappointed in the social atmosphere (too much or too little sports, fraternities, sororities, or political environment)
  • miss your home, family or significant others
  • get distracted, make unhealthy personal choices or have problems with time management
  • get adjusted to the rigorous grading of college professors

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