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Pros and Cons of Transferring Colleges

Transfer Pros and Cons

There is no doubt that transferring schools is common practice among students today. According to a study by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, 37.2 percent of the 3,629,429 students who enrolled in U.S. colleges and universities decided to transfer schools at least once in their academic career¹. Although there are many advantages to transferring, there are also several drawbacks.

Transferring may provide the opportunity for a student to advance from a less prestigious and less academically challenging college to one that is more prestigious and has a stronger academic reputation. This move can be somewhat challenging, but the rewards of this decision clearly outweigh the risks². Students should consider the institutions they could transfer to and research the quality of education and opportunities that they could gain from each potential move.

One of the other advantages of transferring colleges is that the transition provides students with an opportunity to experience new surroundings and a chance to make new friends. Although building friendships at a new college or university may be difficult at first, transfers are encouraged to “find resources on campus, such as clubs and sports” or other activities that will help them to connect with fellow students in their new academic environment². When students transfer to a new institution, they more often than not leave behind the friends they made at their previous college². This may seem like a negative, but this may potentially “filter out people that should be filtered out”² and allow students to focus on building new and perhaps more meaningful friendships at their new college. Students should take these factors into consideration when transferring from one school to another.

One concern faced by students is that the credits attained while attending one school may not transfer to another. In order to avoid having to enroll in additional classes to compensate for this, students should meet with academic advisors at both schools to ensure that they are taking courses that will be accepted at the school to which they hope to transfer².

Another disadvantage of transferring colleges is the possibility of losing out on scholarship and financial aid ³. Some transfer students are indebted to their previous school for scholarships that they received before making the decision to transfer to another college or university³. However, costs can be somewhat alleviated by transferring from a private institution to a state-funded college, since public universities are generally less expensive³. Students should also consider the financial implications in their decisions to transfer.

On the plus side, transferring from one institution to another can be a character-building move. This type of change requires individuals to challenge themselves not only socially, but intellectually as well. and in turn they may become more mature and independent as a result of pushing themselves.

Recognizing the growing trend of students deciding to transfer from one college or university to another, Ramapo College of New Jersey welcomes over 700 transfer students annually from 135 different colleges and universities throughout the United States, including 35 New Jersey institutions. Additionally, Ramapo welcomes international transfer students from countries worldwide. The College has a variety of programs designed for transfers, including the Transfer Student Orientation and transfer-student-specific activities during both Welcome Week in September and Winter Welcome in mid-January. Transfer students are encouraged to come to Ramapo not just for the pastoral setting and excellent academic programs, but because at Ramapo College, students are treated as members of a family – truly a learning community.

To learn more about Ramapo College, visit https://www.ramapo,edu/transfer/ for more information.

¹Source: National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. Transfer and Mobility: A National View of Student Movement in Postsecondary Institutions, Fall 2008 Cohort by Doug Shapiro et al. Retrieved from

²Source: USA Today. “The pros and cons of transferring colleges, learned firsthand” by Jon Fortenbury. Retrieved from

³Source: “The Pros and Cons of Transferring Schools”. Retrieved from

Categories: Transfer