We hear a lot of great questions and stories in our forums. We would like to highlight one thread that might be helpful to students who are deciding whether they should transfer out of their current college or university:
Student: I’m currently a freshman at Spelman College, and I am thinking about transferring after this year. I have been at my college for a little over a month, and it’s fine, but that’s it: it’s just fine. I applied as a sort of throw away safety, but ended up attending (for some reason I always had a feeling that that would happen though…). The school has an amazing reputation in the African-American community, but is not as well known nationally, and I am not sure how that will affect me when applying for jobs.
When I was talking to my dad about this (he completely supports the idea) he gave me a few things to think about: and the last thing he said was “Think about what you want your college experience to be like.” I know I don’t want my experience to be “just okay.” I want more diversity, more school spirit (maybe some sports teams), and more people that challenge my ideas (often I’m one of the only people talking in class).
I’m from California, so I was contemplating applying to UCs (Berkeley and UCLA) the applications are due in November, so it would be great to get advice about applying to those because the deadline is so soon! I loved Northwestern when I visited in high school, so I would probably reapply there and to USC.
Also, I’m trying to figure out what extracurriculars to do: would playing soccer for the school (they are D-III) significantly help a transfer application?
TransferWeb: Thanks for sharing your situation. I have a friend who transferred TO Spelman. She recently graduated from there. I asked her for her thoughts, and here’s what she said:
I will say that Spelman is not for everyone. I believe that it is way too expensive to stay there if it is not where you want to be. It is not a place with sports teams and that type of “college experience”.
However, I would not worry about Spelman not being nationally known. Spelman is internationally known. Graduate school recruiters from the Ivies and Fortune 500 Companies recruit Spelmanites. If there is anything you want to accomplish, Spelman will do nothing but help you accomplish your goals.
So in reality, it is all up to you. I would say apply to transfer out if you feel you need or want to, so that at least you will have options. No harm done if you decide to stay. Also, if you want more information on the Spelman experience, I could help. I recently graduated from Spelman, and I actually transferred to Spelman.
Student: Thank you so much for your reply/advice from your friend! I really appreciate it.
My main concern is that I am not being challenged enough in classes. Literally yesterday my English professor canceled class because only 2 (including me) girls in a class of around 15 did the reading and she didn’t want to have a discussion with 2 people. There is an honors program, but I would not be able to get into it until sophomore year, and I’m still not sure how much more difficult the classes will be.
I also have many different interests that I think a bigger school would offer classes in. For instance, I’ve always had a weird obsession with Russia and many of the schools I am looking at have either a Russian or Russian Studies major/minor or a Slavic Studies program. I feel like I wouldn’t be able to explore these interests after college, so that is another reason I’m considering transferring. However, the major that I am in right now, International Studies, is great, and not many colleges offer something like it.
Spelman definitely does have great career opportunities. Representatives from major companies come on campus all the time, but I was worried about if companies will recognize the name after I graduate if they did not actively recruit Spelman students.
I’m aiming for a 4.0 this semester but if that doesn’t happen I think I will not get less than a 3.7-3.8. I’m in Model UN and I really love it, I’m going to join the Spanish Club (I’m a Spanish Minor), and I joined another community service club but I am not sure how organized they are so I may have to find a different one. Do you have any suggestions regarding EC’s to make my application stronger?
Here are some of the schools I’m considering: USC, Tulane, Northwestern, Brown and UCLA/Berkeley
What do you think my chances are?
TransferWeb: As the Spelman grad explained, you should go ahead and apply to transfer, and then decide later if you want actually make the switch.
Holding a 4.0 GPA or a GPA that’s as close to 4.0 as possible certainly makes you more competitive than other students applying to the schools you listed.
Regarding extracurricular activities, I would say to do what you’re really interested in and what would be worth your time and effort, and then point out that genuine interested somewhere in your application.
We hope this is helpful to you! Please share your questions and stories in our forum!