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Study shows students frequently transfer to college in a different state


Friday, March 21, 2014

After all the work you put into the college search process: visiting schools, completing applications, writing essays and waiting, waiting, waiting for a reply, it's almost impossible to think that you might not be happy at your chosen school. However, it's not uncommon for students in their first semester on a campus to feel like the fit is not quite right. In situations like this, transferring to a different college may be the best solution.

If you choose to transfer, you would not be alone. A significant portion of students transfer from their original school before graduating with a bachelor's degree, and many are going to a different state to do it.

College students transfer at a high rate
According to The National Student Clearinghouse (NSC) Research Center, one-third of all college students switch schools at some time in their higher education. Through May 2013, there were 12 states where more than 10 percent of students who began at a four-year public college finished their degrees in a different state. In the previous year, only nine states had that distinction.

"Many students are graduating from a state different from that in which they started," said Dr. Doug Shapiro, the executive research director for the NSC Research Center, in a press release. "The continued growth in student mobility and diverse student pathways to an education outcome highlights the opportunity to open discussions on new completion metrics to measure the value institutions provide to their students."

Research your transfer options
The Princeton Review offers a few recommendations for students looking to transfer colleges. Most importantly, the student should seriously consider the reasons for wanting to change schools and determine if this is really the best course of action. Is it a personal concern like not fitting in with the school culture or being homesick, or is it an academic concern like programs not meeting your expectations or limited availability of classes? After assessing the reason, the next step is to research the transfer credit policy for the new schools under consideration.

Once a student narrows down the list of schools, the college application process starts all over again. The process will be similar to the original, but this time colleges will want to see college-level work in addition to test scores and high school transcripts. Letters of recommendation from professors may also be a good way to demonstrate skills and ability.

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