What If You Want to Transfer?

There are ways to make transferring work. Here's one story.

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What if you arrive at the college you thought you wanted, and once you're there it turns out not to be the fit you'd hoped for?

Ann Stouffer was excited about going to Boston University: big East Coast city, excellent business and management program. But the six-hour drive back to suburban Philadelphia seemed awfully long, and she missed being on a team—she'd played three sports throughout high school. After thinking it over during winter break, she applied to and was accepted at Temple University in Philadelphia (another big city, another strong business program)—and made the lacrosse team. "I'm very glad I transferred," she says.

Transferring is often more straightforward than it sounds: In general, colleges look for the same qualities in transfers as in incoming freshmen, and application guidelines are similar. National Association for College Admission Couseling's yearly space availability survey contains information about spaces for transfer students, too.