College Life

The College Transfer Guide And If You Should Do It Or Not

So, you didn’t get into your top choice university. Perhaps you’re having second thoughts, and think the grass is looking greener at another school. Whatever your circumstances are, transferring colleges serves as a second chance for the college experience you truly desire. But is it meant for you? Check out our college transfer guide to walk you through your decision-making process.


Choosing to transfer requires a lot of preparation before clicking “apply”. First, you need to consider why you want to leave your current institution. Do you want another shot at your dream school? Have your career plans changed and you’re in search of a better program? Or are you just unhappy?


Reasons in-line with education should always be number one, however, unhappiness isn’t so cut and dry. Maybe the location isn’t what you hoped it would be, or you want to be closer to home. Is the size of your university incompatible with your social needs? Finding a smaller or larger university, depending on what you need, maybe what your educational career needs for you to thrive. Happiness is important, especially in college. But prioritizing it allows you to grow and succeed at a pace that benefits you personally and professionally. If you’ve given your current institution every chance and haven’t found your fit, transferring is a route worth considering. This college transfer guide should help you through.

Where To Begin

First, get in touch with your academic advisor and analyze your current academic progress. Conduct research to see what’s required of the school you want to attend. Find out the average admitted GPA. Does the program require certain pre-requisites for transfers? If the finances surrounding your transfer destination worry you, consider searching for financial aid. Many universities offer scholarships exclusively for transfer students.

Clubs And Activities

Another thing to consider: Are there clubs and activities on your current campus that you’d like to continue at your transfer university? Familiarize yourself with everything your destination has to offer, and confirm that it’ll be the right fit for your involvement needs. Involvement is key when transferring schools, as being new on-campus after your freshman year makes it much tougher to find friends. Freshman year is when socialization is as big of a priority as it will ever be. When students progress further in their education, they spend less time searching for new friends, as they more than likely have found their niche. If available, take a look at on-campus housing options exclusive to upperclassmen, which can provide social opportunities specifically for you.

See Also

Transfer Statistics

According to the National Student Clearinghouse, in the 2014-15 academic year, 9.4 percent of students surveyed had attended at least two institutions. Though that number may seem small, transfer students make up a sizeable population on many college campuses. Universities will host orientations dedicated to transfer students, allowing students to meet fellow transfers and receive information relevant to their upcoming experience. While freshman orientations focus more on dorm life and the overall first-year experience, transfer orientations offer insight better suited to the goals and interests of upperclassmen. This college transfer guide helps you boil down what you really want out of a college experience.

Final Decisions

Speaking from personal experience, transferring colleges was the best decision I’ve made in my college career. I went from attending a commuter university 40 minutes away from my high school to a large state school nearly an hour and a half away. Getting as far away from home was not my priority. But a short drive away lead to endless opportunities in my career path including networking, career resources and classes that weren’t available to me beforehand. In a span of just a year, I’ve grown so much both professionally and personally. I’ve found newfound independence even being so close to home. There’s nothing wrong with my previous institution. But if I never considered transferring colleges, I would never be as happy as I am today.

Did this college transfer guide help you? Let us know in the comments below.

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