Is Transferring Colleges Normal?

College Transfer is Common

Are you thinking about leaving school to attend a different college or university? Did you stop going to college a while ago and want to finish your degree at a different school?

You are not alone.

Depending on who you ask, between 25% and 37% of college students transfer to a different school at some point before graduation.

Jazmin QuaynorThe Department of Education says 25% of undergraduate students at 4-year colleges transfer. The National Student Clearinghouse Research Center says 37.2% of college students transfer to a new school at least once within six years.

Where Do Students Go?
Some 2-year community college programs are made for students to transfer to 4-year colleges or universities. Of the 2-year students who transfer, 60% earn a bachelor’s degree within four years.

What about students who start at a 4-year college?

Many students transfer from a 4-year school go to a 2-year college. More than 16% of transfer students who start at a 4-year college or university move to a 2-year community college to complete their first degree.

Reasons To Transfer

1. Change in Finances — It’s common to take a break from school or transfer to a new school that is less expensive when the cost of tuition, books and other expenses gets to be too much. Also, financial aid and scholarship offers can change from year to year. Before you enroll in college, make a realistic budget for yourself and your family. You might decide to start college without knowing how you will pay for the full program. There are a lot of scholarships and grants your can apply for at various times in your college career.

2. Change Your Major — Starting college as an “undecided” student or switching majors while in school is common. What if you want to change to a program or major that is not offered at your current school? You will need to transfer to complete your goal. Before you make the switch, find out if changing schools will add to the time it will take you to get your degree. Also check if you are eligible for the same — or more — financial aid at the new school.

3. Change in Personal Life — Many things can change in your world while you are in school. You can change jobs, decide to move residences, get married or divorced, or experience some other change to your living situation or to your family. Any of these things will affect your ability to focus on your school work, or even your ability to physically get to class. At the start of every school term, pay attention to what is going on in your life and make adjustments, if you can.