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How to Decide if You Should Transfer to a New College or University

Updated on January 14, 2017
The University of Oregon campus
The University of Oregon campus | Source

Choosing whether or not transferring to a different college can be a really hard decision. There are several reasons why you may decide to study at another college. If you're considering a transfer, it would be beneficial to write down your reasons.

List the pros and cons of your current college. Do the same for the other school. What are some compelling reasons to stay? Why would transferring be the better option?

After going through your list, really narrow down the main reason you would like to switch. Is it a good reason? How does it relate to the quality of your education? If you're not sure, there are several compelling reasons thousands of students transfer to different universities every year:

Better School

Each year, thousands of students transfer from community colleges and small, local universities to better schools.

Transferring to a better school can be a great choice whether you're looking for a degree that has high prestige, want more challenging coursework, or the ability to do research with some amazing professors.

Closer to Family

If you have a family member you need to care for, moving to a school closer to home may be a good idea.

Try not to move home because you simply miss your parents. If this is the case, consider finding ways to be more connected to them (like more frequent phone calls, video chat, etc...)

If you really enjoy your university, other than the fact that you miss your family, it may be in your best interest to stay at your current school rather than move home.

Quick Poll

Why are you considering a transfer?

See results

Specialized Field/Major

If you're majoring in engineering at a school that is better known for their liberal arts program, then moving to a school known for engineering might be your best bet.

There might even be a case where you're at a school with a great program, but it doesn't hone down to the specific field you enjoy. For example, I go to a school known for computer science, but I'm more interested in computational linguistics, so I'll eventually have to transfer.

This happens every day. Fortunately, many of the classes you've already taken might transfer nicely. This is especially true if the majors are closely related.


Money makes a huge difference when it comes to where you go to college. When considering a transfer based on how much (or little) the new college might cost, be careful to consider that not all credits you've taken might transfer.

You'll want to compute all the costs involved in your transfer. If you're a junior at a school that costs $25,000 a year and are considering a move to a school that costs $8000, you may find that upon transferring you have two or even three years left due to credits not fully transferring.

However, you still can save quite a bit of money even in your junior year. Contact the admission department at the new school. They may offer more information on how your credits will transfer.

These are just a few of the many reasons students move to another school. What are your reasons?


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