4 Signs You Should Transfer

Check out these top reasons for transferring if you’ve thought about switching to a different school.

By Ashley Henshaw | February 17, 2017

Homesickness is normal for freshman. But if you’re still feeling unhappy or uncomfortable at your college during your second semester, then it’s possible that your original choice just isn’t a good fit.

Plenty of new college students have a hard time settling in at their school. But what if it’s been months and you still don’t feel like it’s a good fit? What if changes in your life are making other colleges seem like a better choice? There are plenty of reasons that students transfer, but not all of them are good ones. The following are signs that it truly is time for a change.

While many factors may contribute to your decision to transfer, these four signs shouldn’t be ignored.

1. Insufficient Academic Offerings

Most students enter college without a definitive plan for their major and future career. As you start to narrow down your areas of interest, it’s possible that you’ll realize your current school’s offerings are lacking. Even the best colleges can’t offer top-tier programs for every major. Maybe you chose one university for its great business school, but now you’re thinking you’d like to pursue a nursing degree instead. You may need to transfer to get the education you need.

Even if your current school has the program you want, it’s important to think about what they have to offer. Do they use the latest technology? Does the program have plenty of internship opportunities? Look at programs at other schools to find out whether a transfer might offer a better education and more hands-on experience.

2. Academic Challenges (Or Lack Thereof)

If you’re seriously struggling with your classes, it may be a sign that your current college isn’t a great fit for you. Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean you have one really difficult class with a particularly tough professor. Instead, this situation applies to students who are having trouble keeping up in all or most of their classes.

If you find yourself in this situation, keep in mind that you shouldn’t abandon ship right away. You may be able to succeed in your classes if you get some help. Fast Web encourages students in this situation to take advantage of on-campus tutoring services or to get private tutors to see if things improve. The second reason to stick with your classes has to do with the importance of college grades in the transfer process. According to the Princeton Review, schools will pay more attention to your college GPA than your high school transcripts if you do end up applying to transfer.

Meanwhile, the desire to transfer can also strike when students realize that their classes aren’t challenging enough. You shouldn’t feel like your classes require little effort – if you do, then you may need to transfer to college with a more demanding academic environment.

The desire to transfer can strike when students realize that their classes aren’t challenging enough.

3. Financial Circumstances

Your financial circumstances may have changed since you started college. Maybe a parent who is helping with tuition lost her job. Perhaps you’ve been unable to find any on- or off-campus employment to supplement your expenses. Whatever the case, it may help to transfer to a less expensive college if you find yourself in dire straits financially. In many cases, financial issues can be worked out with the help of a financial aid official at your college. Even so, taking on additional student loans isn’t an ideal solution for most college students.

If your efforts to reconcile the situation aren’t working out, try looking for other colleges where your education will be less expensive. Pay attention to net price when you research other institutions. In addition, make sure you ask each college about scholarships funds available to transfer students. According to U.S. News and World Report, an increasing number of colleges are setting aside money specifically for potential transfers.

4. Feeling Out of Place

Plenty of students have trouble making friends at college. Others take a few months to hit their stride socially. But if you’re still feeling unhappy or uncomfortable at your college during your second semester, then it’s possible that your original choice just isn’t a good fit.

Before considering a transfer, make sure you address your feelings of loneliness or unhappiness with a counselor or therapist. There’s a chance that your feelings may be unrelated to your current school. According to Education.com, missing a significant other, being homesick and not getting along with a roommate are common themes among students who transfer for the wrong reasons.

If you decide to transfer, make sure you evaluate why you feel out of place at your current college and look for a school where those problems won’t be an issue. For example, if you hate how your current college feels like a ghost town on nights and weekends, make sure the school you choose isn’t a “commuter college” where few students live on or near campus.

If you decide to transfer, make sure you evaluate why you feel out of place at your current college and look for a school where those problems won’t be an issue.
Photo: Thinkstock


While other factors may contribute to your decision to transfer, the four signs listed above shouldn’t be ignored. It’s important to find a college that’s a great match for you personally, academically and socially.

People Who Read This Article Also Read:

True Stories: How Transfer Students Succeeded
College Transfers: Should You Stay or Should You Go?
Cost Breakdown of Transfers
Transfer Basics

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