As the new semester nears, many college students find themselves asking, “Should I transfer colleges?” The question of whether to remain at your current school or transfer to another one is common. In fact, the Department of Education finds that 25 percent of students who start a four-year public or private school transfer at some point of their college career.
There are many reasons students decide to transfer. Their current school may not offer the major they want or the social life they desire. They may want somewhere closer or, perhaps, farther from home. Financial circumstances often play a role in the transfer decision, as well.
Switching schools is a personal decision that every student should make for themselves. When it makes sense, transferring out can be a smart move. Still, some students often question if it is the right thing to do. They may be worried about the changes the big move can bring—and that fear may keep them stuck in a school or program they don’t really love.
Should you stay or should you go? That is the critical question at hand. If you are considering transferring colleges, read on. Here, we will share the top five questions to ask yourself as you ponder the heavy question: “Should I transfer colleges?” Your answers can help you determine whether or not you should make the move.
1. Am I In a Program That Fulfills My Goals?
The first thing to consider, when deciding whether or not to transfer, is the program that you are currently enrolled in. Does your current school offer the program you need to attain your future career? Does it align with your professional goals and interests? Is it being offered at the right degree level for a successful future, or will you need further education down the road? Is there a clear roadmap between your current program and your career objectives?
The right program will challenge you and prepare you for the career of your dreams. Many students go to college without knowing what they want to do, and a high percentage change majors during their course of study. If you are considering transferring colleges, you will want to find a program that will equip you with the knowledge and skills that you’ll need in your future career path.
If the answers to these questions lead you to believe another school or program could be a better fit, it may be worth making the transfer.
2. Would My Current Credits Transfer?
Another practical consideration to make is how a transfer would impact your progress to date. Some colleges do not accept certain credits, depending on the schools from where they come. Check with the institution you are interested in to make sure your prior courses will transfer over, so you do not lose progress on your time and money already invested.
Transferring from one school to another can be challenging, but there are schools that work to make the process as seamless as possible for incoming students. At Goodwin University, for example, most of your credits never expire. Over half of all new students have transferred from other schools, and previous learning is typically evaluated in less than one business day.
3. Does it Make Sense Financially to Switch or Stay?
The cost of a college – and the cost of a college transfer itself – is an important factor to consider. If your financial circumstances have changed, and you find that you simply cannot afford the college you are currently enrolled in, you may want to consider a switch. Or, perhaps, you are looking to move to a more advanced program, but the cost increase will be incredibly burdensome. The physical move can bring a financial impact, as well, particularly if moving and increased housing costs are a part of the transition.
Before you make any decisions, consult your current and your prospective school’s financial aid office, to find out what your options are and whether it is worth it to move. Goodwin University has one of the lowest tuition costs for private, nonprofit colleges in the state, and 98 percent of undergraduates receive financial aid.
4. What are the Pros and Cons of Each School?
When making a big decision, it always helps to make a pros and cons list. Think about the overall appeal of your current college. What made you choose this school? Was it your first-choice school, or was it a fallback? Did you choose this school for the social element – i.e. other friends attending or close proximity to home? If the reason(s) you chose your current school do not fit within your overall, big picture goals, it may be time to reevaluate your decision.
If your current school offers a solid program, but there is little flexibility in the curriculum, or there is little support from the professors or administrators, you may want to weigh that, as well. Consider how much each pro and con means to you.
Some factors to consider, and qualities to look for, include:
- Career Support and guidance
- Challenging coursework
- Curriculum flexibility
- Finances/financial aid
- Student engagement/social activities
5. Am I Happy Here?
After evaluating all of these considerations, you will also need to listen to one very important thing: Your gut. What do your instincts tell you? Are you happy in your current program? Would another school make you happier? Tour the school you are considering to get a feel of the campus and school environment. The school you attend – whether you’re simply taking in-person classes or living on-campus – will be a place that you spend a considerable amount of time. Make sure it is one that you love and will help you pursue the career of your dreams.
A career-focused school, like Goodwin, focuses on helping students reach their goals. Our Career Services Team offers students and grads free assistance in landing their dream jobs. From resumes and cover letter writing to interviewing practice and professional networking guidance, we do not rest until each graduate is in a job they love.
At Goodwin University, over 60 percent of our student body has transferred in from other colleges. The median age of students is 27, and the majority have completed some college education before. No matter where you are, how old you are, or how much college is behind you, our goal is to welcome all transfer students with open arms—making the entire transfer process as easy as possible. Read our FAQ for transfer students to learn more.
If you feel ready to transfer into Goodwin University, you may also contact us today. Call 800-889-3282, or visit us online to request more information.
Goodwin University is a nonprofit institution of higher education and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Goodwin University was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.