Everyone would like you to believe that college is a straightforward process. You graduate high school and then attend college for four years and get your Bachelor's degree. Unfortunately, for many of us this isn’t the case at all. A lot of the time, the first college you choose to attend isn’t the one you end up graduating from.  Looking at colleges as a transfer student is a whole different ball game, and there are five things every transfer student should know.

 1. Start from scratch
Do not use your past college searches as a baseline. Looking for colleges while still in high school is a completely different experience. Compare your current college with potential new ones. Consider what you’ve enjoyed or hated about your college experience so far and apply it to any new colleges you look at. The size of the campus may also decide how big the class sizes are. Do you like one-on-one discussions with the professor or listening to a lecture with a large group of your classmates? Are you more comfortable living on your own or spending some more time with your parents? All of these things need to be considered.

2. Transferring college credits
Every college is different, and so are their transfer admissions departments. College credits are not all treated equally. Check to make sure that most or all of the credits you’ve earned so far will transfer to your new college. My community college had an agreement with Le Moyne College that if I was accepted at Le Moyne, all of my credits from community college were guaranteed to transfer. This can be extremely helpful for graduating on time, since losing credits can set you back a semester or sometimes an entire year. You don’t want any of your hard-earned credits to go to waste.

3. Your major
Let’s assume that whatever you major is now, you’re planning on continuing it at another college. However, just because the major sounds the same doesn’t mean the structure and classes are. I started as a Communications major and decided to continue that at Le Moyne. My community college’s program was mostly focused on news production and hands-on lessons and Le Moyne’s focuses on theory and learning the basics of each field. These majors are called the same thing but entail different curriculum, so check individual classes for your major to see if it’s something you’re interested in.

4. Social environment of the school
The social aspects of college can be just as important as the academic side, especially if you’re planning to live on campus. Check to see if your college hosts a lot of events throughout the year, or if there are any clubs you would be interested in joining. It can be hard to start making friends all over again, but the best way to do that is to put yourself out there. I took the plunge and started volunteering as an ambassador and working at the Admissions office, and it worked! I’ve met some great people doing things that would normally intimidate me, so you have to be willing to go outside your comfort zone. It’s worth it.

5. The squeaky wheel gets the grease
Unfortunately, things aren’t going to always fall into place perfectly. Be vigilant in the things you want to achieve and don’t let family or professors pressure you into something you don’t want to do. Sometimes the path your want to take will be the more difficult one, but if you know it will make you happy then stick to it and try your hardest to reach your goals. Do not waste your time doing something to try and please someone else. It’s hard work, but it’s all possible if you remember these five things.

Written by: Emily Beck, '17, Communications major


To learn about the transfer process at Le Moyne, visit our Transfer Admission page