Since transfers take longer to graduate, that can mean more tuition costs, students loans — and a delay in salary, said Allen Grove, college admissions expert for ThoughtCo.Com and a professor at Alfred University.
The average tuition at a four-year public college was $9,970 in the 2017-2018 academic year, and $34,740 at a private college, according to the College Board.
"If you would have been earning $30,000 a year, and suddenly you're in school for those four months, that's $10,000 you're not earning," Grove said.
Also, keep in mind any financial aid package you might have is guaranteed for only four years. "In that fifth year, whatever financial aid package you got often evaporates on you," Grove said.
He added that many of the resume builders that students pick up in college — like research assistant roles and internships — are a product of their relationships with faculty. "When you transfer, the bottom drops from under you and you have less time to get to know the faculty well," he said.
The calculus of your decision will change if the school you'd transfer to offers lower tuition or a more generous financial aid package than your current one. Also, some schools grant scholarships just for transfer students.
Inject some introspection into your decisionmaking, said Alexander McCormick, an associate professor of education at Indiana University and director of the National Survey of Student Engagement.
"The institution can change, but the person can't change," McCormick said. "It calls upon students to think hard about whether changing institutions is really going to solve the problem."
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