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7 Common Reasons that Students Transfer Colleges

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It’s normal for community college graduates to continue their education at four-year universities after earning an associate’s degree, but students transfer to new schools for a variety of other reasons. In fact, transfer students are increasingly common on most college campuses so we’ve compiled a list of 7 other common reasons that students transfer colleges.

1. Your school’s social scene isn’t up your alley.

If you’re a social butterfly who loves the big city but somehow convinced yourself that a tiny college in the middle of nowhere would “do you good,” you might wind up unhappy with your decision after living with it for a few months. Likewise, you might have learned the hard way that you just can’t stomach being one of hundreds of nameless faces sitting in crowded auditoriums day after day.

2. Homesickness got the better of you.

It’s important to remind yourself that any major life change can cause feelings of anxiety or sadness, but if dorm life honestly makes you so homesick that you can’t function it might be a good idea to transfer to a college closer to home.

3. Bad grades aren’t fun.

Some students just aren’t well-prepared for the shift between high school and college. Others party so hearty that their grades begin to suffer from day one. In any case, bad grades aren’t fun. Transferring from a competitive university to a neighborhood community college might not sound too thrilling, but in some situations it’s for the best.

4. Your major isn’t available at your current school.

Plenty of high school students think they know what they want to study in college, only to learn that their idea was completely wrong. If you realize after the fact that your college doesn’t have the major you’d like to pursue, you might have to transfer colleges.

5. You want to attend your first choice college.

Some students have their hearts set on attending a particular college, only to be denied admission. They have to settle for another school, but they put “Plan B” into action by going to college for a couple of semesters, earning great grades and re-applying to their dream college as a transfer student.

6. Financial problems.

The costs associated with attending college are constantly on the rise and in some situations, students just can’t keep up. If your parents are footing the bill or if you’re paying for school yourself, transferring to a cheaper college that you can actually afford is a much better idea than stretching yourself so thin you’ll be paying off student loans for the rest of your life.

7. Family obligations.

Some students have to transfer colleges due to family obligations, such as caring for a sick parent or other relative. Financial problems can also be intertwined with family obligations—if a parent loses their job and can no longer afford to help support you, transferring to a cheaper college closer to home might be your only alternative.

Want to Transfer Colleges? Consider This

Once you decide to transfer colleges, applying to schools will be different than it was the first time around. Most colleges do not offer incoming transfer students the same financial aid packages that they offer incoming freshmen. Your college credits might not all transfer to your new school, which could cause you to take more classes per semester or even graduate later than you’d planned. If you transfer in the spring semester instead of in the fall, you might not be able to secure a dorm room on campus. You’ll be new to the school, but not new to college itself, which might cause you to feel a little socially awkward.

Be sure to ask your prospective transfer schools all the details about their policies regarding transfer students!


Melissa Rhone+

Melissa Rhone earned her Bachelor of Music in Education from the University of Tampa. She resides in the Tampa Bay area and enjoys writing about college, pop culture, and epilepsy awareness.

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