How to Transfer Colleges

Are you fed up with your school and wondering how to transfer to another college? Here's a college transfer guide so you know how to transfer colleges.

“I think I chose the wrong college…”

All of us have had this thought crash into our minds. When that happens, many of us are not sure what to do. Fortunately, there can be a successful plan that will put your concerns at ease. Whether that means you need a major change or a school change is unique for your situation. Our goal is to open the door for you to understand whether you need to transfer colleges or not. If a college transfer is in store, you may be wondering how to transfer colleges in the first place! So, here is a college transfer guide for those wondering how to transfer to another college.

College Transfer Guide

Wait Before You Transfer Schools

One mistake many of us make when we consider transferring to another schools is that we do not give it enough time. Think about it, we spend months, sometimes years trying to choose the perfect college. Then, we get there and the first few weeks aren’t what we expected. In these situations, you need to put just as much thought and consideration into transferring as you did choosing. Keep in mind, this is normal! Many students go through a slump upon arrival at college. It can be extremely difficult to adjust to the new lifestyle. Therefore, it is nearly impossible to make a sound judgement of a school before you acclimate to college life.

Get in Touch with Someone

If you do find yourself thinking about transferring within your first couple weeks of college, we have some tips to make a good decision. First of all, colleges have many avenues for students to reach out for help. If you are living on campus you will have Resident Assistants (RAs) and Directors (RDs). RAs are upperclassmen students who have committed to helping their fellow students thrive in college. RDs are actual staff at colleges who are mainly there to assist RAs but some schools make them available to the general student body as well. Both of these people are there just to help you! On top of that, there are professors, campus life staff, health and wellness staff, and more! All there to help you on your collegiate path. Reach out and talk through whether a transfer is necessary.

Pros and Cons of Transferring Colleges

Now that you have given your current college some time, it is a good idea to determine the benefits and downfalls of transferring. The second step in our College Transfer Guide involves both a pros and cons list of staying at your current college and transferring to a new one. This can be a daunting task as there can be endless amounts of pros and cons. Even though, this is an extremely important step and it will determine the following steps of how to transfer colleges.

So, where do you start?

Examine your current position and ask yourself some questions about your college experience. What do you like, what do you not like? Is your current college too close to home or too far? Does your current college have adequate instructors or curriculum? What sort of support do you get from the faculty and staff? How do you like the campus life, is there not enough going on? Ask yourself these questions and more to compile your list. Try and take yourself back to when you were making your initial college decision and see what you liked then about your current college. Are those things still true or did they turn out not like you expected?

Return to the List

One good tip on creating an extensive pros and cons list is to go back to it a few times. You most likely will not be able to sit down in one evening and create the perfect list. So, work on it for a few hours then go about your day or week. When you come back to it, you will have more ideas to add. Once you feel your list is comprehensive, what outweighs the other? This will help you decide whether you should transfer to a new college or stay at your current school. If the cons of your current school are overpowering, then use this list to find a new school that excels where the other lacks.

Decide if College is for You

Something we often forget to ask ourselves is if college is the right path or not. This will be much more clear after a pros and cons list is created. You can see if you are feeling discouraged by your specific college or just college in general. Even if you are searching the web to find out how to transfer colleges, you may need to be searching for something else. If your cons are things that no college can solve, you will want to start considering apprenticeships, internships, or starting your career rather than following a college transfer guide.

Consider Taking Time Off

Although this may seem scary, sometimes taking a semester or year off is exactly what you need. Taking a semester away from school can help you decide whether your specific college is the problem or if college in general is not for you. You should take this time to clear your head and determine what you truly want to. When taking a semester off, it is extremely important to have a plan in place. It will do little to no good to take a semester off to just sit on the couch. You should get a job, travel to a new country, learn a new skill, just do something! Then, make sure you have a specific timeline. Go into the time away from school with a deadline to make a decision.

So, if you are going to take just the spring semester off, you should be enrolling in a new college, starting your career, or beginning other career training that summer. Without a specific deadline, you could look at the calendar and see that you spent the last 3 years trying to decide which is best. A deadline helps you stay focused and make better decisions.

Research Potential Colleges

Once you have decided that you want to continue in college but need to find a new school, you will need to do extensive research. This can be much easier than your initial college search as you will have a better idea of what you want in a school. So, look at the downfalls of your current school, then find a school that fixes all of those things. There are many things to consider when transferring. It is important that you get connected with an academic advisor at the schools you are researching. They will be able to help you figure out what the transfer situation will look like.

How to Transfer Colleges: Things to Consider

  • Major – Make sure that the college you are considering has the major you want to pursue
  • Instructors – It can be very helpful to get in touch with the instructors at the college to see if they would be a good fit
  • Cost – You will want to think about the cost of leaving your school and going into a new school
  • Credits – One major cost factor is whether your credits will transfer, contact the school to see what courses you will need to retake
  • Financial Aid and Scholarships – Again, work with your college advisors to see what your financial aid will look like after a transfer
  • Pros and Cons – Look back to the pros and cons of your last college, ensure that the new one does not make the same mistakes

Schedule Your Transfer

Once you have found the college you want to transfer to, get connected with your academic advisor there to schedule your transfer. This will look a little different at each college, so you will need to work through it with the advisor. You may even need to apply at multiple different colleges. If you have decided to leave a trade school and go into an Ivy League school, you will probably need to apply to many different schools to get into one. Once you have scheduled your transfer, there is not much left to do as that is the end of the College Transfer Guide.

Even though, there is some preparation you can be doing before you actually transfer. For example, try and get to know people who are already going to school at the new college. If you already know other students, the transition will be much easier. Sometimes transfer students can have a tough time making friends as they were not around during the first semester. So, if you can get connected with other students before you even transfer, you may have a better time. Along with that, if you are transferring credits, it is good to review those classes so that you can apply what you learned at your new school.

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