The challenges that transfer students face and if the risk is worth it.

Nov 18, 2007

The Bottom Line The best recommendation you can get is to make sure you have all the information you could possibly need at hand when considering a transfer.

There are two schools of thought when it comes to deciding if you want to transfer from one college to another. The first thought process, is that a student decides heading into a situation that they are already going to transfer 2 or so years into one college, no matter what outside factors might come into play. For instance, some students will go to Community College for the first two years of education in order to get a basic learning of certain subjects before transferring into a University where they will attain the degree of their hearts desire. Sometimes this is the route students take if they find themselves not being accepted to their school of choice, or have missed deadlines for one reason or another, and want to get into school as quickly as possible. This quick schooling is sometimes necessary after high school to keep yourself in the mood to not only attend classes but continue studying.

The second school of thought regarding transferring that I mentioned is a student who decides later in their college career that they want to go through with a transfer. Selecting a college is never an easy decision, and at times we can make a decision that we either regret later, or we change our minds about the particular degree or higher education that we want to pursue. An example of this would be a student that has enrolled and started taking classes at one University, and has decided that they either don't like what is being offered, or they aren't comfortable in that educational setting. This is a great example, because not everyone is happy with their primary choice, and it is actually common to want to try and transfer to another University part way through a degree track. While it is acceptable, this is where the challenges really start to show themselves.

The most important aspect in regards to transferring, is always having all of the information in front of you. As a student, you never want to leave things to chance, and always want to know the route that your education is going to take in the coming years. This means knowing exactly what classes are required to attain a degree, how long this process is going to take, and what classes count towards what areas of your track. This is important to also nail down when it comes to the University you are thinking of transferring to after spending some time at your current location. You have to do the research to make sure credits are going to transfer, which classes are going to count towards a degree program at the second school, and most importantly which requirements are being fulfilled in order to get ahead in your new degree track. The worst thing you can do is not do the research, and end up wasting time on classes that won't count towards anything at your new school.

When transferring schools, you have to be aware that no two Universities really run the same way, and that you want to be ready for a big culture and structural change in the way things are done. Preparing yourself mentally, knowing what you are getting yourself into, and having the requirements already cemented in your mind are all extremely important steps to insuring that you are actually ready to make a transfer. No matter the thinking, whether you are prepared going into college that you will transfer after two years, or whether the transfer idea suddenly comes up, things will change dramatically on both a learning and social line. You will be breaking out of what you know, and delving into a whole new atmosphere, so going into it with information about the area, where you are going to live, and possible recreational activities that you enjoy will also help your transition. No matter how you decide to approach a transfer, the most important thing to have on hand is knowledge of the process, a direct link to who you need to talk to at your current and future universities, and an understanding of what it is going to take to complete the transfer. If you go into the situation already aware of everything needed, and a clear mind about the potential pitfalls, you stand a much better chance at avoiding problems, and increase the odds that you will easily overcome any challenges.

Is a transfer worth it? If you think you are heading towards a better situation, and you are confident that there are no unanswered questions, then it could be one of the best decisions you make on a college level. There is no reason to waste your time at a school where you aren't interested in pursuing your education, and where you wouldn't enjoy what you were learning. Take the initiative, find a track at a college that interests you and that you know you will enjoy under-taking, and research everything you will need to know to achieve your new goals. The sky is the limit, so don't let your initial decisions when choosing a college dictate that you must spend all 4 years at one school. Transferring colleges is a widely accepted, and completely understood process within learning, and if it is something that ends up appealing to you as a student, research how you can change your future for the better.

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