In the first few months of college as a first-year student, many students consider transferring to a different institution. There are many reasons students choose to transfer such as fit, lack of school resources, or cost. Whatever the reason, it is key to do extensive research on each institution of interest before applying to transfer. To learn more about the transfer application process, read the following article that highlights transfer students’ frequently asked questions. This article will address some challenges college transfer students may face.
Challenges to Consider
Proper Acclimation to Campus – Some colleges and universities tend to focus their time and energy on first-year students, not transfer students. Incoming first-year students attend new student orientation which may include multiple days of activities to help students get acclimated to campus. Transfer students often have an abbreviated new student orientation experience that may not have the same level of engagement.
A Repeat of First-Year Experience – Attending a new school could feel like starting all over again. Relearning classroom norms and faculty expectations will push transfer students to adapt to the new normal. Everything that was learned in the last year or two will not be the same.
Understanding Campus Norms – Campus norms are clear expectations that dictate behavior in a specific setting. Every campus community has a distinct campus culture. Having an understanding of the campus norms and implied expectations will take time to learn.
Joining Friend Groups – Finding a friend group can be challenging in a new setting, especially if the friend group is already established. Already established friend groups may not always be as welcoming to newcomers.
Low Amount of Credits Transferring – When transferring to a new institution, all the credits for the classes taken in the previous institution may not transfer. Credits for classes taken may be lost due to variations in course curricula between institutions.
Repeating Classes – Each university has different curriculum expectations which cause variations in course equivalency. The loss of credits, and differences in course equivalency may force transfer students to repeat classes that have already been taken at the previous university.
Extending Graduation Date – Having to repeat classes that have already been taken will cause transfer students to have to push the expected graduation date back. This will cause transfer students to not graduate with their graduating class.
Lengthened Financial Commitment – Taking classes cost tuition dollars. Repeating a class will lengthen the financial commitment to the institution. The longer you stay in college, the more money it will cost.
Delaying post-graduation plans – Extending time in college will delay post-graduation plans. Having to delay post-graduation plans will push back time to start a full-time job, and begin to earn money.
Although there are some challenges to consider when transferring to a new college, there are ways to overcome those challenges. Connecting with the office of orientation and/or a peer mentorship program on campus will provide opportunities to learn more about the campus environment. This will help with understanding campus norms, and learning faculty classroom expectations. In addition, connecting with a peer mentorship program could create opportunities to make friends on campus. Talking with the admissions office to discuss transfer credits, and course equivalency will help to avoid repeating classes and extending time spent at the institution. Overall, before transferring colleges there are key steps to take before applying. For more information, check out this guide to transferring colleges. In addition, if you are interested in transferring colleges and need assistance, be sure to contact us today.