3 Signs It's Time To Transfer Colleges

By Danielle Wirsansky on February 14, 2020

We like to imagine that once you get accepted to a handful of colleges, choose one, commit to that one college, that you go there and stay there until you graduate and begin your true adult life.

However, that is not how every student’s college stories go. That idyllic story is often interrupted by college transfers. A whopping 37% of college students transfer schools during their college experience—that is more than a third of all students!

There are many different reasons why students transfer schools, some of which are common problems many students face and some of which are personal and unique to a student’s circumstances. If you have been contemplating transferring schools, but have not been quite sure if that is the right move, then take a step back. Take a deep breath. And then read on to learn three signs that might be telling you that it is time to transfer colleges.

Photo by Buro Millennial from Pexels

#1. You Finished Your Associate’s Degree

If you have finished your college studies up to the point that you have achieved your Associate’s Degree, then you are at a really good stopping point to transfer schools. An Associate’s Degree basically encompasses all of your general education requirements, without necessarily going (or going too far) into your major’s requirements.

A big concern with transferring schools is that you will lose credits for classes that you have already taken—just because you transferred does not mean your credits will. But an Associate’s Degree is a good springboard that will help more of your classes be accepted if and when you do transfer schools. The degree basically offers you a lifetime lock on the credits you have already completed.

It is often cheaper to get your Associate’s Degree from a community college and then transfer to a four-year college or university for the specialized classes from your major. Why pay more for the same classes?

And if you find that your studies are not a great fit, you transfer schools and it is still not a great fit and you decide to leave school if you did not first earn your Associate’s Degree when you leave school you will have nothing to show for it. If you use your Associate’s Degree as the turning point, you will always at least have that degree on your resume.

#2. Your Major Program Is Not What You Wanted

Maybe you are super psyched about being a theatre major. Or a business major. Or whatever major it is that you chose. But something about the program your school offers makes you sort of hesitant. If you are a theatre major, maybe the program does not offer enough support to those students interested in aspects of the field besides acting. If you are a business major, there is not enough emphasis on entrepreneurship, which is what you are most interested in.

Yeah sure, you could get by, but you are not getting what you wanted or needed from the program you are enrolled in. If you are not getting what you are paying for our of the program, it might be time to transfer colleges and into a program that better matches your goals.

#3. The College Just Is Not the Right Fit

Sometimes, the best-laid plans go awry. Maybe you researched the heck out of this school before you chose it. Maybe you visited campus a dozen times before you started there. Maybe you talked to several people who do or have attended the school. But once you were actually there, enrolled as a full-time student, you just knew something was not quite right.

Maybe you thought you would like a small student body, but now you feel as if you know everyone but can’t find the right people to fit in with. Maybe you thought you could handle harsh weather, but once you were living in it, you hated it. Maybe you thought an urban or, on the opposite end of the spectrum, a rural environment might be best for you but once there, you knew it just was not the right vibe.

Sometimes, a school will simply not be the right fit for you. There’s nothing wrong with that—you just need to find a better fit!



In the end, only you can decide if it the right time for you to transfer colleges or if transferring colleges is really the right fit for you. But keep a close eye on the signs because you want to make your future as bright as possible while keeping yourself happy and healthy too. Keep in mind that everyone’s college journey is a little bit different and there is no shame in doing things at your own pace and in your own way. Good luck!

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