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5 Reasons Why Students Transfer Schools

A lot of students – particularly freshmen, consider transferring to another university at some point or another.  Perhaps you want to be closer to friends and family, or you want a change of pace. The decision on whether to transfer to another school or not is difficult for anybody.  


You’re in good company though – roughly one third of students at two or four year universities transfer to a different school.  We made a list of 5 common reasons why people want to transfer, and why each reason comes with its own set of problems.



1.  Homesickness

The first few months of college are very stressful.  This is likely the first time you’ve lived on your own, and your parents aren’t around to force you to study.  You miss your friends from back home, and this is the most responsibility you’ve ever had.  It’s completely natural to want to go home, but don’t let this new set of challenges take away from your college experience.  If you’re only two weeks into your freshman year, you aren’t ready to make up your mind on transferring.


Give it your best shot during your first semester.  Join clubs, talk to strangers, and explore your new town.  If home is still calling after your first year, you might want to start considering transferring to another school.  


2. Cost

Practically every student struggles with paying for their education.  In fact, the average class of 2016 student has $37,172 in debt after graduation.  Maybe you went out of state, but the tuition is higher than you expected.  That diploma from your private university seemed appealing at first, but now with the bills coming in you realized that a public school might be just as good without breaking the bank.  The top 10 schools with the most transfer students are all public universities, and are a good alternative to save money.



Keep in mind though, there are scholarships available to help get you to your degree.  Talk to your advisor and see what options are available.  If you love your school but can’t afford it, there are opportunities to work on campus to help pay off your debt.  Take a look at these tips for help paying off your student debt.


3. The Academics

Academic life is a huge transition when you go off to college.  Your professors won’t hold your hand like teachers did in high school, and with many classes not taking attendance you might be tempted to blow off class whenever you want.  Your grades might take a hit your first semester, but this doesn’t mean you can’t handle the academic rigor of your university.  Take full advantage of your professors’ office hours, and make full use of online resources like Khan Academy.  If you’re still struggling to get the grades you want after your first year, it might be time to consider transferring to a school with a less rigorous schedule.


Alternatively, you may feel that you aren’t being challenged at your school enough.  You blow off class all the time but ace every exam, and you want more from your school.  While being ambitious is great, don’t immediately disconnect from your school.  College is usually easier at the start when people are taking their general education courses, and gets progressively more difficult as you move into your major.  Talk to upperclassmen within your major.  Did the courses get harder as they took classes in their major, or was the workload about the same?  If you aren’t being challenged now and don’t expect to be in the future, it may be time to consider transferring to a more prestigious school.


4. School Offerings

You go through a lot of changes once you go off to college.  You meet new people and have an experience unlike anything you’ve had before.  As you go through these changes, your academic goals might change.  For example, say you went to a school with a great nursing program, because you wanted to be a nurse.  However, you took some nursing classes and realized that the nursing field isn’t for you, and now you want to study architecture.  It’s great that you’ve found your calling, but your nursing school probably isn’t the best fit now, and might not even offer classes in architecture.  If your plans for the future change and your school can’t help you reach your goals, you should look into schools that offer the programs you need to reach them.


5. A Poor Social Scene

In an entirely new environment, making friends can be difficult.  Outside of your comfortable high school, the social scene is completely different than what you’re used too.  Some schools are dominated socially by Greek life, and while that may be for some, maybe it isn’t for you.  Don’t let that stop you!  Join clubs, talk to the people you sit next to in class, and make an effort to be friendly to those around you.  If you’re making an honest effort to talk to people, others will notice and want to talk to you too.


If you’re still having a hard time after putting yourself out there, transferring is still an option.  Keep in mind though – if the social scene is the main reason why you’re leaving, make sure your new school has the environment you’re looking for.  


Undergrad is tough, finding a job shouldn’t be. Check out these additional resources to help get you through the recruiting process in one piece.


Looking to transfer (haha, get it?) your skills into the job market?  TransparentCareer offers free data on career pathing, compensation, and salary negotiation.  Sign up for a free account here.


Have you transferred?  We’d love to hear your story! Chat with us.