Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you realize that “Dream U” is not so dreamy after all. Maybe you have discovered that you really want to pursue a degree that is not offered at your current school. Maybe the allure of a big city like New York or Los Angeles (or the boyfriend/girlfriend/bestie you followed to college) is not so alluring after all or, maybe, you have a personal, health, financial or family reason that requires you to be closer to home. If that is the case, it’s time to develop your transfer plan.
- DO reflect on what went wrong: Take a good, hard look at what compelled you to select the school you chose. Be honest about what you thought your wanted in a college and how you thought your current school met those needs. Were you wrong about your assessment of the school or have your requirements changed? Simply jumping from school to school without this self-reflection risks making an ill-informed choice again.
- DO reconnect with old suitors: It’s always a good idea to send a lovely thank you note to the admissions officers who advocated on your behalf and offered you a spot in their incoming class, even though you decided to attend. Why? If they wanted you once, they may want you again. Reach out to the schools who accepted you into their freshman class and explain how you made a mistake and how you now realize that their school is really the right school for you.
- DO write a well-crafted personal statement: The key to getting accepted to your transfer school of choice (aside from having strong academics, recommendation letters, demonstration of impact on your community, etc.) is to develop a strong argument for why you chose the school you chose, why you want to transfer and why new school is the right school for you. Read Crafting the Transfer Essay for pointers.
- DON’T be afraid to expand your search: Go back to the drawing board and begin your college search from the beginning (see Part 3: Selecting the Right School). Maybe your initial college list was overly aggressive and you weren’t accepted to the schools you thought you should have been. Or, maybe, once you got to school, you realized you wanted a more academically rigorous curriculum than the one your school offers. Go beyond the rankings, brand name, championship football team or city that you thought was soooo important and really think about the factors that will make your college choice one that will facilitate your growth academically and personally.
To maximize the likeliness that your college-bound student will be successful, be sure to explore the other parts of The Complete Candidate’s College Transition Playbook: