About 30% of college students transfer to a different school at some point. Too often students switch schools for a bad reason
and find that the grass is not greener after the move. Here are a few situations that do justify a change . . .
Unfortunately, some students simply can’t afford to stay at their current college. If you're feeling money pressures, be sure to talk to a financial aid officer and your extended family before making a transfer decision. The long-term rewards of a quality bachelor’s degree might outweigh short-term financial inconvenience. Also, realize that a transfer to a less expensive school may not actually save you money. Learn about the hidden costs of transferring.
Academic UpgradeAre you not feeling challenged at your current school? Have you earned such high grades that you think you can win admission to a significantly better school? If so, a transfer could be a good idea. A more prestigious college may offer better educational and career opportunities. Realize, however, that being the star of the class at lower-ranked school can bring its own rewards.
Specialized MajorIf you discover in your first year or two of college that you want to be a marine biologist, you might want to transfer to a school near the ocean. Similarly, if nothing will suit you but a career as a prosthetist, you should transfer to one of the few schools in the country that offers such specialized training.
Family ObligationsSometimes family has to take priority over school. If you need to be close to home because of an ailing family member, a transfer to a different school might make sense. Talk to your Dean first -- a leave of absence is sometimes a better solution. Also, be careful not to confuse a true family emergency with homesickness or an empty-nest parent who wants you closer to home.
Social SituationSometimes the culture at a college turns out to be the opposite of what you wanted. Perhaps the seven-day-a-week party scene isn’t for you. Perhaps the opposite is true -- you’d like a more active social life, but your school seems too serious. In some cases like these, a transfer might make sense. After all, college isn’t just about the academics. But don’t be hasty -- make sure the social group you’re looking for doesn’t exist at your current school. Try a change of friends before a change of school.