It was your first time. You were so excited. You always heard from your friends about how wonderful it is. How you will want more after you try it. So you go ahead and try it.... and it is not what you expect. You liked it a little bit, yet you want it to be different and special. I'm talking about college here. Get your mind out of the gutter. Here are 8 tips to help you with your transfer process.
1. Examine what you are looking for in your next school.
If you are in the position like me, there are some intangibles that will not change (ie. Academic challenge, racial demographic, trifling financial aid office, etc.), however look at the few things you can control and want to change. Be sure about what you want. Do you want a bigger or smaller population? Go out and find it. Want a bigger sports culture? Go get it. Just make sure it is what you want to do.
2. No relationship is perfect so do not expect this one to be.
Yes, there might be other aspects of your new school that you will not like. This does not mean the transfer is not worth it, it will simply mean that you will have to make that adjustment. You asked for a much larger population, it may be harder for you to get the one-on-one attention you had beforehand. Think of it as a tradeoff rather than a downside.
3. #Shootyourshot2016, yet in a more positive form.
Do not be discouraged by applying to a dream school of yours that you were scared to apply to. The need for safety schools is probably not your best bet, because you are settling more than going for what you want in a school. You truly might not be able to get in but it is worth a shot. One of my friends who is also transferring put this into a great quote for just attempting, “It does not matter how many of these schools I get into, as long as I get into one, I will be happy.”
4. You come to realize that admissions is somewhat inflated.
What you do in high school is sort of overrated. Yes high grades are great, however they are not going to keep you in school. Colleges understand that you will not make that perfect 4.0 there like you might have in high school. According to the facts provided by the University of Washington, the average incoming freshman has the average GPA (Middle 50%) of a 3.6-3.9. Transfers on the other hand, had an average GPA of a 3.4. It should be understood that life happens, you will not be penalized for not being the perfect student in college as much as you would in high school.
5. Money can be solved… sort of.
Money talks, that can’t be denied. However some colleges have created ways to attract students. In the state of Texas, if a student qualifies for a $1,000 scholarship or more, the student will have the opportunity to receive a out-of-state tuition waiver to public universities within the state. State exchanges can also help students attend other schools. Some exchanges such as the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE), allows for many west coast students to go to participating schools at a reduced price near in-state tuition. This can have drawback with some exchanges being specific for certain majors, such the Academic Common Market (ACM) for southern states.
6. Location, Location, Location.
Stop for a second and think about this. Do you like the location of your school? Why is that? Maybe New York City, Seattle, and Atlanta are not for you. Maybe Greensboro, Ithaca, Pullman, or Athens are more of your speed. It is fine, be happy wherever you are always. Consider this when you pick your school list.
7. Disclaimer: It might be expensive if you do this.
Let’s say I decided to go back home for college in Georgia; I apply to 3 schools full price in the process. The University of Georgia application fee for even showing up with an app is $60. Multiply that by three and add $11 for SAT scores to be sent. It starts to add up after a while.
8. Be excited!
Yes, you will be leaving soon! Yes, it is challenging to move on at this point. Just remember this: when you were in high school, you thought it would take forever for you to be in a college classroom, and now you're in one most weekdays. Stay positive and always look for the best.
Lead Photo Credits: University of Alaska Fairbanks
Other Photo Credits: Every School I applied to and got into my senior year of high school.