Should You Transfer Colleges? Signs to Never Ignore


By Khadejah Stegall

Khadejah is a part of the TLC College Ambassador Program and attends North Carolina A&T University.

This article originally appeared on for a back-to-college content partnership with TLC.

The fairytale college life that you see on TV is accepting your college choice and living out the best four years of your life, but sometimes in reality, that college choice may have ended up being the wrong choice. Transferring schools is perfectly normal and we’re here to have a honest conversation with you to help you decide if you really need to transfer colleges. Transferring can sound scary. The thought of starting over, meeting new friends and leaving old ones can give you an uneasy feeling. According to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, over one third of college students transfer colleges at least once. Here are some of the signs it’s time to transfer colleges.

Tuition Becomes A Burden

Tuition is expensive, especially at private universities. When it becomes a burden and you are struggling to stay at your dream school, it may be time to look at a cheaper option if nothing is working in your favor.

“The biggest factor that motivated my decision to transfer schools was the ongoing struggle of paying for a private, out of state education. I applied for dozens of scholarships (won many), wrote letters to donors, searched for sponsors, worked and saved money, applied for loans, and even with a 3.8 GPA that still wasn't enough. At some point, I realized that as bad as I wanted to continue at my dream school, staying there was no good for me. I was fighting to stay at a school that wasn't fighting to keep a top student who contributed to its legacy in more ways than one.”

-Amber Quinney, Senior Transfer Student From Howard University To Canisius College

Your Needs Aren’t Met And You Want Better Opportunities

Your university is great, but maybe another university offers better opportunities for your specific interests and major to jumpstart your career goals.

You need to know that life happens and if you realize that the school you attend no longer satisfies your needs and you're not confident that it is preparing you for your career as another institution will, then you should start looking inter other schools.”

-Elizabeth H., Transfer Student From North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University To The University Of North Carolina At Greensboro

You Are Extremely Homesick

You are miserable and you want to go home every chance you get. Don’t confuse this with just missing your family. If you are happier in any environment other than your school, this is a sign.

The Culture Isn’t For You

Sometimes people choose schools too big, too small, too challenging or not challenging enough. Maybe the HBCU experience is not what you thought it would be or a predominantly white college isn’t your cup of tea. It’s OK to be real with yourself and transfer.

You Aren’t Happy

If you dread going to class, doing homework and go to sleep unhappy, it’s time to look at different options. Evaluate going through a tough season at college versus never being satisfied with the decision of the college you chose. Get to the root of your unhappiness and ask yourself why you feel the way you feel. College is never easy, so don’t make a decision off of your emotions. Look at the facts.

You Are Trying To Convince Yourself Too Hard

“Sometimes we try to make things work that may not be the best choice for us in the long run. God gives us a choice and if we work hard towards something we want, God will allow us to have it, but that doesn't mean that it's his best for our lives.”

-Elizabeth H., Transfer Student From North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University To The University Of North Carolina At Greensboro

Fear Is In The Way Of You Making The Move

“I didn't want to leave all of my friends. I'd made so many connections over the past three years. But I had to realize that after college, people will go their separate ways and take jobs in various cities and states, in search of their dream career. You have to focus on what's best for your life long term. Your true friends will always be a part of your life no matter how much distance is between you.”

-Elizabeth Harris, Transfer Student From North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University To The University Of North Carolina At Greensboro

You Need A Fresh Start

“The transfer has benefited me in more ways than I can count. It gave me a fresh start and has allowed me to apply the life lessons I learned at my old school. Since transferring, I won $20,000+ in scholarships, got to represent my (new) school on a national stage in a pitch competition, was selected for competitive fellowships and internships, maintained a top GPA, and have since become a part of some pretty distinguished networks. Best of all, my career and life goals are more clear and I am walking in the early stages of my life purpose. Sometimes transfers aren't just about changing schools, sometimes it’s about elevating your life course!

-Amber Quinney, Senior Transfer Student From Howard University To Canisius College

Don’t let fear of losing credit hours get in the way of making a necessary decision. It won't make a difference that it took you a year or two longer to graduate. When you look back at what is supposed to be the best four years of your life, youdon’t want to have regrets. If you are considering transferring, we suggest you take the College Quiz that is offered on It’s a great way for you to answer questions honestly.

Khadejah Stegall is a college mommy blogger that inspires others to achieve the impossible through the power of Jesus. She enjoys family time, eating vegan meals when it's convenient and mentoring others on professional development. To be inspired by more post, follow her blog at