Today, the most common reasons for transferring schools are rooted in a wrong selection or a desire to advance. Transfer students often cite that they chose the wrong school initially, or simply sought to change majors, attend a more respected institution, or pursue a curriculum beyond what their initial college could provide. No matter what you’re reason for transferring schools is, one thing is for certain: It is important to do your research.
There is a lot that preludes the decision to transfer. Students must do research to determine which next college or university can best meet their needs and align with their goals. If you are considering transferring, you must ask yourself what you are looking for in an institution, and further investigate whether that institution can truly meet your professional and personal requirements.
So, how do you find the best college to transfer to? Here are a list of considerations when researching prospective colleges and universities. Ask yourself these questions before choosing the best possible college or university for you.
1. Does the College Support Your Career Goals?
More than likely, you have a good idea of what you want to do in your professional career. Having spent some time in college already, you have gained some experience and perhaps a better understanding of your passions and goals. Knowing your career goals ahead of transferring will be one of your greatest assets, as it can help you choose the best possible college to transfer to. How, you ask?
Let’s consider a couple examples.
If you know you want to become a nurse, you will be able to narrow your search to the best nursing schools to transfer to. You can then research which schools offer the most robust nursing curricula, most flexible nursing classes, or even the best nursing internships while in school. You can even speak with other nursing students and ask questions to see if the school is right for you.
If you wish to major in manufacturing, on the other hand, you can research which colleges and universities offer a diversity of manufacturing programs, certifications, and specializations. You may seek colleges that are closely connected to leading manufacturers in your state, or that offer practical experiences with some of the top employers near you. You can use your career goals to drive your decision forward.
As a transfer student, you want your next college or university to be the one – the one that provides you the resources and tools needed to graduate and find success in your field. With that in mind, it’s important to ensure that college offers you a streamlined pathway to getting there – one that offers career-focused classes that closely align with your interests and goals.
2. Does the School Meet Your Other Requirements?
A lot of students transfer schools for the simple reason that their first-choice was not the right fit. They may have found that the location was too far from home, the campus life wasn’t what they were seeking, or the faculty weren’t invested in the students’ success. They may have found the courses or the projects were lacking substance, and were not fulfilling as a result. Some change schools because they don’t fit in with other students or the student population is lacking diversity. There are a variety of reasons—many of which are personal—that can lead a person to believe a school is not right for them.
With all that said, it is important to ensure that your next-choice school better aligns with your general interests and needs. Consider factors such as:
- Location – Is this a location you can commute to, that works for your lifestyle?
- Courses – Does the curriculum of your potential program align with your interests?
- Faculty – Is the faculty encouraging, knowledgeable, credible, and accessible?
- Class Formats – Are classes offered in flexible formats? For example, does the program offer online, part-time, and accelerated class structures, if needed?
- Student Body – Does the school offer a diverse student body, with students of all ages, where you feel like you’ll fit in?
It can help to make a checklist of the qualities you’re seeking in a top-notch college or university, and interview admissions in order to find the college that best aligns with your interests and needs.
3. Is the College or Program Accredited?
As a transfer student, “accreditation” is a key quality to look for on any prospective school’s website. Accreditation means that a school – or program – meets high standards of quality. It has gone through a voluntary and formal review process, in order to be granted an accreditation award. Accreditation is often approved based on an institution or program’s curriculum, faculty, outcomes, and student success rates, among other factors.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, accreditation is also based on whether graduates can gain admission to other reputable institutions or achieve credentials for professional practice. It is often needed to achieve financial aid and to transfer to other colleges or universities. This is important for transfer students to know. Seeking an accredited college and program will set you up for the best chance at success. Accreditation is something the best transfer colleges will have in common.
4. Is the College “Transfer-Friendly”?
When you are getting ready to transfer schools, it can be a little overwhelming. It can also make you feel alone. The good news is that there are a variety of colleges and universities that not only welcome transfer students with open arms, but also work to make the transfer process as easy as possible. When we talk about “transfer-friendly” schools, we are talking about colleges that:
- Have a large population of transfer students
- Streamline the process of transferring credits
- Offer support services for transfer students
Every school is unique, and each institution will handle the transfer process differently. At Goodwin University, we aim to make the process as smooth as possible. Prospective students can send an unofficial transcript to our admissions team, and we can review in just one business day (or less). Our admissions team can then schedule a face-to-face review of your prior learning, give you an idea of which classes will transfer, and show you what Goodwin can do for you. When you are ready to apply, we will conduct another, comprehensive evaluation of your official transcript and prior learning experiences.
At Goodwin, students may transfer in, and be awarded for, both academic and experiential credits. This means we accept credits earned at other colleges and universities, career training and professional development programs, and even personal and job experiences. Best of all, most of these credits never expire.
You can learn more about the easy process of transferring credits into Goodwin University here, online. Of course, if you have any questions, do not hesitate to speak directly with an admissions team member. The right college or university will ensure you feel informed throughout the entire process, even before applying to the program.
Goodwin University is recognized as one of the best schools to transfer to, due to our high attendance of transfer students. As of the Fall 2021, more than 60 percent of all undergraduate students had transferred to Goodwin from other schools. The average age of our students is about 27 years old, and most choose Goodwin for the career-focus. These students know what they are seeking in a program, what they want to do in their careers, and Goodwin allows them to achieve their goals in a flexible way.
5. What Services are Offered for Transfer Students?
On top of a streamlined transfer process and speedy review of your transcripts/prior learning, the best colleges to transfer to will also offer support services for transfer students. These might include:
- Applicant advising services, with dedicated help for transfer students
- Academic success services, such as tutoring, testing, and other means of mentorship
- Career services to ensure you find success during college and after graduation
- Counseling and therapy services to promote your mental health
- Financial aid packages designed with you in mind
- Student engagement opportunities and events
- Services for veteran students
- Assistance in accessing community resources when needed
At Goodwin, these services – and more – are available to all members of our community, regardless of whether you are a first-time or transfer student. We are here for you at every step of the way.
If you would like to learn more about transferring to Goodwin University, and about the flexible and career-focused programs we offer, please do not hesitate to reach out. Call 800-889-3282 or visit us online to request more information.
If you would like to learn even more about the best colleges to transfer to, and how to begin the process, check out some of these related articles: