Transferring to a Different College

When my daughter’s friends came home from their freshmen year in college, most of them were happy campers.

A few of Caitlin’s friends, however, weren’t thrilled with their college choices. It shouldn’t be any surprise that universities don’t always click, but there are plenty of opportunities for college transfers.

I  saw this happen with one of Caitlin’s dearest friends who spent her freshman year at George Washington University. Her first choice was Georgetown University, but her academic profile wasn’t quite good enough for the extremely selective school. While earning excellent grades as a freshman at George Washington, she applied to her dream school and got accepted.

My nephew did the same thing. His first choice — University of Southern California — rejected him so he attended Occidental College, which is an excellent liberal arts college in Los Angeles. Michael, however, never lost his desire for USC and Saturday football games. He applied to USC for his sophomore year as a transfer student and got happy news the second time.

I know other students who were so unhappy in their freshmen year at four-year institutions that they decided to regroup and save money during their sophomore year. They did so by attending a community college.

A report from the federal National Center for Education Statistics documents that college transfer are quite common.  Nearly one in five students transfer from one four-year college to another.

Lynn O’Shaughnessy is the author of The College Solution and also write the college blog for

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