Every year, millions of students make the decision to transfer colleges. In fact, in the 2020-2021 academic school year, about 2.1 million college students transferred schools. If you’re among the many students considering making a change, you may feel overwhelmed by the sheer process of transferring. Here’s what you need to know about transferring colleges, specifically after you’ve completed one year of school.
Common Reasons to Transfer After One Year
There are a number of reasons why you might be interested in transferring colleges after one year. Before starting the process, you should definitely weigh your reasons for changing schools. Here are just a few reasons why transferring colleges after one year might be a good option for you.
● You’re a Community College Student
The group of students most likely to transfer schools are community college students. Transferring to a four-year school provides you with the opportunity to earn your bachelor’s degree and hone in on a field of interest. If you’re a community college student transferring to a four-year school, you should research whether or not your school has partnerships with four-year schools. For example, University of Bridgeport has articulation agreements with several Connecticut community colleges including Gateway, Housatonic, Norwalk, Middlesex, Quinebaug, and Capital Community College. Ask an admissions counselor about future school possibilities.
● You’re Unhappy at Your Current School
Another great reason to transfer schools is simply because you’re unhappy with your current institution. This is a perfectly valid reason to transfer schools. Whether your school is lacking tutoring services or you just don’t like the location, keep in mind: this is your college experience. If you’re not happy, it’s time to move on!
● You’re Changing Majors
One of the great things about college is that it’s a time to experiment and figure out what you really want to do with the rest of your life. As such, it shouldn’t come as a surprise if, after one year of school, you’re no longer enthused about pursuing the major you originally started out with. In this case, it makes total sense to transfer to a school that offers both your major as well as outstanding faculty in your chosen discipline.
Additionally, it’s worth noting that many college students start out as undecided. Like many, you may have spent your freshman year of school fulfilling general education requirements and exploring different areas of interest. If you have since decided where you want to take your future career, you may find that another college or university can help you excel. Changing to a career-oriented program is another common reason to transfer schools. For example, at University of Bridgeport, many incoming transfer students pursue career-focused majors in Dental Hygiene, Nursing, Psychology, Health Sciences, and Business.
Steps to Transferring Colleges After Freshman Year
Before transferring schools, it’s important to do the groundwork. Here are the seven steps to transferring colleges after the first year.
1. Decide What You Want From Your School
If you’re transferring from one four-year institution to another, it’s likely because you’re not happy with your current school. If that’s the case, create a list of criteria you’d like your new school to meet. Ideally, your future school should offer academic and career support, internship opportunities, financial aid, and a dynamic student life. However, there may be other requirements you have in mind. Make sure your future school is the school of your dreams!
2. Do You Have Enough Credits to Transfer?
Before changing schools, make sure you’ve earned enough credits at your initial school to qualify you for transfer admission. If you’ve taken too few credits, there’s a chance you may be considered a “first time” college student. At University of Bridgeport, students who have attempted 12 or more semester hours at an accredited post-secondary institution qualify to submit a transfer application. Additionally, classes must be level 100 or higher, completed with grades of C or higher, in order to be considered for transfer.
3. Can Your Credits Transfer?
It is possible that not all of your credits will transfer over to your new, preferred institution. Before beginning the transfer process, you should reach out to the Admissions and Registrar Offices at your institution of choice and find out if there are any credits that they won’t accept. In some cases, if you provide these offices with the syllabi of the questionable classes, you won’t need to retake these classes after all.
Luckily, if you can begin this process early, you may avoid having to retake several classes.
4. Consider Your Timeline
Some schools require transfer applicants to begin their studies at the traditional academic school start (August or September). If you’re very unhappy at your current school, waiting until the Fall to change schools may not be optimal. If you’re changing schools after your first year is complete and you’re in the midst of your second year, then finding a school that offers rolling admissions will be important. University of Bridgeport, for example, provides this option to transfer students, making it possible for them to begin their studies at UB as soon as possible.
5. Fill Out Your Application
Once you’ve done all the research, it’s time to fill out your application. Visit the Admissions page on your school’s website to find out what is expected of you as a transfer applicant. You’ll need to submit transcripts from each of your previous institutions, including your high school diploma. Additionally, you may need to submit a personal statement and/or letters or recommendation, depending on the school you’re applying to.
6. Research Financial Aid
College is an investment. It’s important to look into available resources provided at your new school. This can take the form of scholarships, grants, or loan counseling. University of Bridgeport offers merit scholarships to incoming students and also makes an effort to make the application process affordable by waiving application fees for all students.
7. Get a Head Start On Your Academic Success
Whether you’re transferring from a community college or a four-year institution, it’s important to get a head start on your academic success. During the first month at your new school, set up an appointment with your academic advisor, as well as the Office of Student Academic Success. The Tutoring and Learning Center of your school can help pair you with a tutor who will keep you on track and prepared for all that comes.
Are You Ready to Make a Move?
College should be a fulfilling and elevating experience. If you’ve found that your current institution doesn’t provide you with the support or academic rigor that you need at this
time, then you’re well within your rights to make a change! Take control of your future and transfer to a school that meets your needs and surpasses your expectations.
Interested in transferring to University of Bridgeport? Learn more about the admissions requirements for transfer students, here!