This is a common question among students who didn’t get accepted into their first choice college. I’ll say first off, if you haven’t completed a semester yet at your school, don’t transfer. Of course your situation may be unique, but I find that most students are simply trying to jump ship because of all the hype of trying to get into their “dream school.” Going to a school that has a better name you and your family likes does not mean you will succeed there, and does not mean it will get you a good job. So here are some valid reasons for wanting to transfer.
Their program is stronger.
This is determined by comparing your department pages and seeing how many professors there are, how many electives you’re able to take, and any career/research opportunities they offer. A stronger program has a better budget to spend on student resources, and you can tell from their website that there are tons to do. Do they feature students who did research? Do they have a calendar for all the events the department holds for students? Are there courses that provide lab or software experience? A stronger program also means there will be people available to help you if you need guidance or struggle with a course.
They are a cheaper alternative.
Another valid reason to transfer is to save money. Many will start off in a community college then transfer to a 4 year university for this reason, but others will transfer after an unforeseen family circumstance. If the college in question is pretty similar to your current school, it may be good to save money on your degree. Sometimes students in private schools realize their families would much appreciate them going to an in-state school if that is an alternative.
There is more student involvement.
This means student organizations, honor societies, and sports. For many college students, freshman and sophomore year resume’s rely on student involvement on campus. If you are in a field of study that requires networking and internships, it is best to be on a campus that has plenty of clubs and the culture is is that students enjoy going to club meetings in the case that you start a student organization yourself. Joining clubs that do annual case competitions can really boost your college experience and your resume!
Their career services center is much more successful.
Are there statistics online on the percentage of students who found jobs after graduation? Does the career services center help with the job search, offer mock interviews, and bring in recruiters? If you’re planning on working after you get your degree, this is a very important part of your decision. Yes, your grades and the quality of your academics matter, but if recruiters in your field never visit your school, you may be at a disadvantage since big companies regularly visit schools for information sessions and career fairs.
There’s a program that better matches your interests.
If you realize dream is to be a software developer and your school doesn’t have a computer science major, this can be a big dilemma for you. The other school might have a major that more aligns with your interests.
That school has more flexibility.
Sometimes you change your mind and sometimes you’re not ready to declare a major yet. If you’re still having doubts about your study, there are some schools who don’t have many impacted majors (you can’t switch into them easily) and some that don’t require you to declare until your junior year. If you know what you want, but simply struggle with academics, a school with an easier passing policy may be in your favor. For example, some schools require you to retake a D-, while others consider this a passing grade and won’t allow you to retake it to replace it for a better grade.
What do you think? Are there any other reasons you have for wanting to transfer? Many people have different circumstances and I’d love to hear your thoughts. Why did you transfer?