Agreements differ from state to state—Lane, for example, has dual-enrollment programs with both the University of Oregon and Oregon State. "The earlier a student can identify the public university they want to transfer to, the better we can coordinate and advise them about what they need to do to make the transition as smooth as possible," Spilde says. That way, in terms of years, two plus two really does make four.
Transfers: Once More, With Gusto
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. She went home for winter break and thought it over.
"Having made close friends and figured out that I could go out for the lacrosse team the next semester, honestly, I could picture myself staying and being happy," she said. Instead, though, she applied 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. NACAC's yearly space availability survey contains information about spaces for transfer students, too.
If you do opt to stay on a wait list, write or call with any new info you think will help—a stellar final transcript, a special award or achievement. And let your college know you're not just toying with it.