Thinking of Transferring?

By The Dunbar Team


Every year at this time, we hear from students who, for a variety of reasons, express an interest in transferring to another college or university. Perhaps the student desires a larger (or smaller) college. Maybe they have discovered that they would be better served to pursue their intended major at another college. Some may be re-evaluating their college choice in light of Covid-19 and its lingering impact on universities across the country. The reasons are varied and personal, but for some, it feels like a good idea to take the necessary steps in applying to another college.

Our stance towards transferring is that it should be considered thoughtfully before starting the process. If you are a freshman, give your current college a chance; it takes time to adjust to a new environment, especially given the ongoing pandemic. The grass is not always greener at another institution and you would prefer to transfer only once.

Students who are thinking about transferring may find the tips below helpful and can either contact their Dunbar consultant directly or the group at

Transferring Tips from Dunbar Educational Consultants:
• While colleges will also evaluate your high school transcript and, in most cases, your SAT/ACT scores, they will place more weight on your college record. In some cases, your chances to transfer to your dream college will be better if you stay at your present college for two years, especially if your high school transcript or test scores were not as strong as your performance in college.

• While it is possible to transfer to some colleges mid-year, there are usually more spaces available in the fall. Application deadlines for fall transfers vary from college to college but are generally in March and April. Check each college’s website for their transfer application deadline and requirements.

• How determined you are to leave your current college will influence whether you apply to just a few, aspirational colleges as a potential transfer student or whether you need to develop a more comprehensive list representing a range of selectivity.

• The number of transfer applicants and the spaces available will vary from college to college and from year to year. Covid-19 has impacted class sizes at colleges across the country and there may be more opportunities to transfer than there have been historically.

• Look carefully at all the requirements, deadlines, and transfer policies of the colleges to which you are considering applying.

• Your application essay must be an honest, specific statement about your reasons for wanting to transfer to another institution. You want to focus on what you are hoping to transfer to rather than what you hope to leave behind.

• Colleges generally require 1-2 recommendations from professors at your current college. It is important therefore that you do your best to get to know your professors, and vice versa (even in a virtual setting), so that they can write as positively about you as possible.

• Colleges respect strong academic work done at other colleges. The stronger your college transcript is, the better your transfer chances will be (most colleges will expect at least a B average in previous college work).

Please contact us if you have any questions; we’re here to help!