Why are students enrolling as transfers?

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Nedda Gilbert, MSW, Educational Consultant, and Author

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The question you asked is somewhat vague. You don't say if it seems that the number is unduly high - or in fact why you are concerned. A greater concern would be you noticing a significant number of students choosing to leave the school you are attending, particularly after their freshman year. That might suggest some trend, such as the college is seen as stepping stone to a better education elsewhere, or that the school is primarily a commuter college and likewise, students are now ready for a different experience. It could mean the school is having problems. But notice that students are transferring into a school is less concerning to me. It says this is a good four year to college to graduate from. And many kids want to go there.

It's possible you are at a state school or university that has an existing partner relationship with a community college. in this case, you might notice a large influx of incoming transfer students. This is by design. Community colleges offer eligible students the opportunity to spend the first two years of college at their local, community program, and then be automatically admitted to one of the 4 year colleges they partner with to complete their bachelors degree. Feel free to write back with more specific information and it may be possible to offer more accurate insights about transfer students at your school.

Marguerite Dennis, Higher Education Consultant

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When you’re applying to college, you should ask: Are students transferring into any of the schools on your list? The answer to this question is as important as knowing the answer to why students leave that university. There may be a very positive reason behind why students enroll in one college after starting out in another school. Find out the reasons behind why students transfer into the schools still on your list. This may be a good reason to keep a school on your list.

Many colleges and universities in the United States have international articulation agreements with international schools. If you are an international student, find out which schools have these agreements. You may want to spend two years studying in your own country, and then transfer to an American school. In these specific situations, most of your credits will transfer because the two schools have a written agreement.

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