Options to Consider When Transferring Schools

There are various reasons why college students make the decision to transfer schools. Maybe you started college and realized that the major or school you originally picked isn’t the best fit for you. Maybe you’re staying on your current path but relocating to a new city. Maybe it’s been your plan all along to finish a set of required credits at your current school before you moved on to finish your degree.

Whatever the case may be, you have a lot of different options when it comes to transferring schools and the types of institutions that are available.

Here are some of your options when considering transferring schools:

1. Public universities. When it comes to school transfers, the majority are students transferring from a community college to a four-year university, which is often a public state university. Some students will make the switch once they’ve earned a certain number of transferable credits at a community college, while others will wait until they’ve earned a two-year associate degree at a community college. Many community colleges have agreements in place with local public universities that will guarantee admission for any student transferring with their associate degree. This plan is great for many people since it can help save money. Just make sure you figure out early on which credits will transfer and how they will transfer. You don’t want any surprises when it comes time to make the switch.

2. Private universities. Typically, students will transfer to private universities from public universities or from community colleges. Private universities may have different admissions criteria in place and can be more competitive. Some students who have their sights set on a particularly competitive private university might begin their studies at another school if they’re working to improve their GPA or studying for entrance exams.

3. Community colleges. Some students may decide to transfer to a community college if they discover that four years of college just isn’t the right choice for them. Many community colleges offer more than just basic curriculum courses designed to set students up for their four-year degrees; most also offer certificates or associate degrees. With these types of programs, students can graduate from community college and be ready to start their careers right away.

4. Technical schools. Similar to community colleges, technical schools offer alternative options for students and usually offer shorter programs than four-year schools. Also known as trade schools or vocational schools, technical schools prepare students for the work world in a fraction of the time, and students graduate with certifications that can qualify them to get started right away. Some students don’t discover this is the right path for them until they begin the coursework for a four-year degree. Depending on your career goals, a technical school can be the perfect choice.

5. Liberal arts colleges. These are a specific type of four-year school. They’re usually private, but there are some public liberal arts schools as well. They are usually smaller, and their curriculum is designed to cover broad areas of general knowledge and thought processes. You may get exposure to a wider variety of subjects and have the chance to do so in smaller, more personal class settings by pursuing a liberal arts education.

In the end, there’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to transferring schools and what type of school to transfer to – it’s about making the decision that feels right for you and that best suits your needs and goals. The most important thing is to do your research and make a plan so you find the right fit and you know if/how any of the credits you’ve already earned will transfer with you.

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