College students elect to transfer for any number of reasons: a shift in academic interests, the completion of a two-year degree program, another shot at their dream school, even a change of heart about their original college. In fact, as we’ve noted before, almost one-third of students will transfer at some point during their college career. Bottom line: transferring can be a difficult process on many levels but also extremely rewarding and exactly what you need. Believe in yourself and your decision to transfer and you will land where you’re meant to be. The KEY is to be informed and create a plan.
TRANSFERRING PROS AND CONS
After all the time and energy that you put into applying to schools the first time around, it can be disheartening to admit that your current institution is not a perfect fit. It doesn’t help that—on the surface, at least—the transfer admissions process is even more complicated than the freshman one. The acceptance rate for transfer students is lower, assistance from counselors is often less forthcoming, and the process itself can feel isolating.
The good news is that, for many students, transferring is a good choice. A new school can provide you with a better academic environment or a living situation more to your liking. You can land at a more prestigious or financially comfortable institution. Transferring can even help you to find a happier social atmosphere or a new start after a rough semester.
For students eager to get moving immediately, a number of schools are now accepting applications for transfer students for the spring semester.
Transferring in the spring can be tricky: you’ll have limited time to find your feet between semesters, and you might not get access to some of the usual college amenities, like on-campus housing. Transferring during the spring can also be difficult socially, especially since you’ll be part of a much smaller transfer cohort than you would be in the fall.
Spring transfers do have a number of advantages, though. You’ll be able to take classes at your new institution much sooner than you would if you transferred in the fall, which can be quite a boon if you’re tackling a demanding new degree program. You’ll start connecting with professors and classmates as early as January, and you can be sure that you’ll receive credit for all of your spring classes at your new college. If you’re unhappy at your current institution, transferring for the next semester might also give you some immediate relief.
SPRING TRANSFER DEADLINES
Below are some of the colleges that allow for spring transfers, along with their fast-approaching application deadlines:
- Carnegie Mellon University: October 15
- Colorado College: October 15
- Cornell University: October 15
- Emory University: October 15
- George Washington University: October 1
- Georgia Tech: October 1
- Macalester College: October 29 (available for US citizens and permanent residents only)
- Northeastern University: October 1
- Ohio State University – Columbus: October 1
- Pepperdine University: October 15
- Pitzer College: October 10
- Tulane University: October 15
- University of Illinois: October 15
- University of Michigan: October 1 (for Winter Term)
- University of Notre Dame: October 1
- University of Rochester: October 1 (priority deadline)
- University of Texas: October 1
- University of Virginia: October 1
- University of Wisconsin: October 2
If you’re interested in transferring, but don’t know where to start, we’ve offered many tips on transferring in the past. We’re also happy to guide you through the process of finding the right school, develop a plan for admission, and help you create essays that stand out.