The decision to stay at one’s college or to transfer to a different institution can be stressful and tense — but there are many factors that can influence a well-made decision.
TIME IS A FACTOR
Time is one of the constant issues. “The student needs to assess the investment made at the current institution,” explained Jessica Kozera, director of transfer enrollment at Stevenson University. Transferring can delay graduation and therefore cost a student more money; in addition, making a decision whether or not to transfer should take time.
Additionally, students need to consider the amount of work they have completed. “There is always the issue of credit transfer-ability. How easily will earned credits transfer?” asked Judy Mancini, associate registrar transfer evaluations staff member. She suggests that students research the advantages and disadvantages of transferring, as well as the environment into which they want to transfer.
Hasty decisions, poor research and a general lack of awareness can lead to being unprepared or dissatisfied with the new college or university choice.
TRANSFER NOW OR SAVE MORE MONEY?
Some students begin their college careers at community colleges in order to save money and explore different major options. This choice gives students time to sort out a possible career path while continuing their education.
Students working full-time may not have the availability to attend a traditional university and find community college to be a better fit. Exploring goals, saving money and choosing a career are all good reasons for picking a community college.
Transferring should be a personal decision that students make after finding that their current university does not provide the values, resources and financial support that they are looking for.
According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, financial considerations are important. Understanding the costs of different institutions and how much money is available versus the students personal loan situations is crucial. A conversation discussing the major factors are imperative for the student to have with their parents or others who are impacting the financial situation. All parties should be in agreement, since costs may be the ultimate decision-maker.
ASK FOR ADVICE
Students should be sure to talk to other students, faculty and administrators at their current college and at the one in which they are thinking of attending. They will be able to give you the real story about classes, campus culture and student body. Lynn O’Shaughnessy, a contributor to U.S. News and author of “Transfer Students: 8 Things You Need to Know,” makes the following recommendations:
- Understanding the transfer process is complicated, and grades are very important.
- Transfer students can qualify for merit aid. Research this possibility.
- Not all schools have room for transfer students.
- Standardized testing is not as important when transferring.
- Look at the “Common Data Set,” a compilation of different facts about colleges. See what kind of students they are looking for.
- Make sure your credits will transfer.
- Look for ‘transfer-friendly’ schools.
- Focus on the positives when explaining why you want to transfer.
Stevenson students can contact the Registrar’s Office and their academic advisor for more information regarding their specific academic situation.