You and your child managed to survive their high school years — looking at colleges, applying to schools, and getting that much-deserved acceptance letter. Now, they are off at school, and just as you’ve gotten used to your child being out of the house, you get that dreaded phone call — they’re not happy. It’s not what they thought it would be, and they want to transfer.
What do you do?
While your instincts as a parent might be to say “no,” and tell your child to give it more time at the current school, it’s important to reflect on some of the reasons students want or need to transfer colleges.
Before you discuss transferring with your student, here are three reasons why students transfer.
Reason # 1: They Want a Better Campus Experience.
College is a unique time in your child’s life. They might be living away from home for the first time or commuting and spending a lot of time on their college campus. In either case, the campus culture and environment can make or break your child’s experiences.
Not all college campuses are built the same, and unfortunately, a college visit or two does not always give your child the complete picture of what their college campus life will be like. Today, more than ever, college students are looking for college campuses that are:
College students want to be at a university that will challenge them to grow personally and academically — one where they feel safe to express themselves and grow into vibrant, creative, and purposeful young adults. Being at a college that doesn’t meet those needs by providing holistic experiences can leave your child feeling isolated, which can impact their education and their mental health.
College isn’t just about taking classes. College is your child’s home away from home for the first few years of their young adult life. It’s where they discover who they want to be in the world and how they want their future to look. At University of Bridgeport, our students are part of the UB family. Our residence halls are more than a place to sleep, they are inclusive communities where your child is an active and engaged member of the campus. UB has recreational opportunities where your child can unwind and relax while developing critical interpersonal skills. We offer clubs and organizations that provide opportunities to collaborate with others while gaining exposure to new activities and hobbies.
Transferring college is a difficult decision. It might be easier to ask your child to “stick it out,” but their experiences while away at college can significantly impact their future. You want those experiences to be positive, and unfortunately, not all colleges will meet your child’s needs. If your student has the desire to find a college that is a better fit, it’s certainly worth having a discussion with them about what they need from their college experience.
Reason # 2: They’re Thinking of Changing Their Major.
Asking a 17 or 18-year-old what they want for dinner can be like pulling teeth, so asking them what them what they want to do for a career is an enormous task. During those first few semesters at college, your child is exploring their interests and their abilities in a new environment. Believe it or not, they are doing a lot of work to learn more about themselves and who they are. Part of that process may involve shifting interests and passions, and you might soon discover that their current college doesn’t offer programs they want to pursue, or extracurriculars that feed those passions.
Wanting to change majors or look for more career-focused programs is a big reason your child might be asking to transfer schools. Studies have shown that interest and passion are strong indicators of future career success. If your student’s current school doesn’t offer any programs of interest, it might be worth considering a transfer to a school or program that aligns better with their goals.
At UB, we strive to provide an academic experience that is diverse and rigorous enough to lead your child into a great career while providing the comprehensive support services to get them across the finish line. We offer career-focused programs that provide a pathway to a rewarding and stable career. Transferring to UB means they will be in an environment that fosters their growth, stokes their interests, and helps them plan for their future.
Reason # 3: They Need a More Affordable Education.
Paying for college is no small feat, and the cost of earning a degree varies widely across colleges and universities. When your child leaves for college, they are taking on a financial investment in their future, but that investment is something you want your child to consider carefully. While most colleges offer financial aid awards, they don’t always cover the total cost of their education. Student loans are available to fill the gap, but they also leave your child with a new monthly expense after graduation when they are just starting their career.
If your student is interested in exploring the affordability of other schools and programs, it might be of value to speak with a Financial Aid counselor and explore your child’s options. This is especially true if your family’s finances have changed recently due to a retirement, change of employment, or other circumstances.
In addition to keeping our tuition flat for the past three years (2020-2023), University of Bridgeport’s Financial Aid team can help you navigate the financial aid process to make the most of our financial aid opportunities. We believe everyone deserves an affordable college education. University of Bridgeport offers grant, scholarship, and work-study opportunities to help you pay for college. We can help you understand everything that goes into paying for college so your child can start their career on solid financial footing.
Hearing your child is considering transferring schools might come as a shock at first, but the process of transferring schools doesn’t need to be intimidating. If your child is considering coming to University of Bridgeport, our Admissions team will help them every step of the way, making the transfer process as smooth and seamless as possible. We’re excited to welcome you to the UB family!
Interested in learning more about transferring to UB? Contact us to learn more!
Let’s start something great together!