How to Tell Your Parents You Want to Transfer Colleges

It’s no secret that a large majority of undergraduate students change their chosen majors at least once before finally earning a bachelor’s degree. Meanwhile, it’s not uncommon, too, for a lot of college students to switch institutions at least once before graduation — about one-third of them do!

Thinking about transferring? Here’s the very first hurdle to overcome: informing your folks about it.

Solid preparation is crucial for students to have a successful talk with their parents regarding switching schools. Part of the planning is listing down the reasons and pros and cons and anticipating questions. Picking the right moment to have an adult conversation with their parents is vital, too.

Read on if you are positive that you want to transfer schools but fear that your parents might respond negatively.

Below, you will come across the steps you need to take if you want to tell the very people who are funding your education that you want to transfer colleges. You will find it easier to come up with a plan and commence and survive the conversation by the time you get to the end of this article.

talking to parents

But be warned: I can only give tips on how to open up to your parents with increased chances of having a cordial and productive conversation with them — I cannot influence how they will respond to or decide on the matter.

Establish Your Reasons for Transfer

First things first: your reason for wanting to attend another institution has to be very good.

Some students want to switch colleges for a single reason, while others want to do so for a slew of reasons. No matter if you have just a couple or several different reasons for no longer wanting to earn a degree from your current school, make sure that they are worth the time and attention and consideration of your parents.

It’s a good idea to write everything down on a piece of paper, which you can later on read before them or ask them to read. And check, too, that they can be resolved if and only if you go to a different college.

Related Article: How to Transfer From Community College to Ivy League

Research Possible Colleges

Your desire to switch schools can become easier to accept, understand and act on by your folks if you have a college to transfer to. Otherwise, there’s a huge possibility for your plan to transfer to be seen as half-baked and therefore not worthy of being taken seriously or into consideration at all.

And this is why you should build a college list just like during your junior or senior year of high school. But this time around, it should consist of institutions that can help resolve whatever problem you are having with your current one.

Research on important matters, including the cost, application process and your chances of getting admitted into them.

talking to parents

Anticipate Parents’ Questions

Planning is definitely a crucial part of your attempt to inform your parents about your plan to continue earning your degree at a different college or university.

It will prepare you to come up with not only the right speech but also the right answers.

Because switching schools is one of the most life-altering moments in the life of their child, not to mention potentially one of the most dangerous to their pockets, your parents might bombard you with questions.

During the planning phase, write down all questions that are likely to be thrown at you as well as a good answer for each one of them.

Pick the Right Moment

There is a right time to switch colleges. Similarly, there is a right time to tell the parentals about it.

As they always say, look before you leap — before you attempt to bring up the idea of transferring to a different school, make sure that your folks are not currently preoccupied with some pressing duties and responsibilities in the workplace or at home. Anger, irritability and feeling overwhelmed can become common traits in stressed-out individuals.

Finding the right moment to discuss the matter at hand can be challenging because you have to wait for the perfect time to talk with your parents and there’s a college application deadline you need to beat.

Write Everything You Want to Say

And now comes the crux of the entire shebang: actually telling your parents about your plan. Easily, this is the peak and the defining moment of telling your parents you want to transfer colleges.

Besides the things you wish to say, there’s another important thing to remember: stay cool, calm and collected.

This is true no matter the reaction of your parents — disappointed, furious, surprised, speechless, guilty, supportive, proud. See to it that whatever comes out of your mouth comes straight from the heart. Definitely, you should steer clear of exaggerations and theatrics just to get your folks on board.

Not good with making speeches? No worries!

Writing everything you wish to say on a piece of paper and handing it to your parents to read is always an option. However, keep in mind that it’s very much likely for a face-to-face talk to ensue.

Provide Answers

Transferring colleges is a big deal, most especially for the fact that it can have a substantial impact on your parents’ hopes and dreams for their child and, potentially, their bank accounts, too. And it’s exactly due to this why they might ask lots and lots of questions — during your speech or after your speech or both.

But that’s okay because they just want to understand your desire better and see if you are serious about it.

No matter how annoyed or infuriated their questions can make you, do your best to answer all of them calmly, clearly and sensibly. There is a possibility for your parents to fail to control their emotions, but keep yours in check.

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Listen to Parents’ Reasons

It’s not just tons of questions that your parents may throw your way but also their thoughts about the matter you just brought into the open. That’s okay because that’s how normal and healthy adult conversations go.

You had your moment to talk. And when it’s time for your folks to talk, listen.

Just because you feel that switching colleges can put your woes to an end doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the right step to take. In some instances, a fresh perspective, such as that which can come from the parentals, can encourage a much better solution to come into being — including one that’s a hundred times better than your plan.

Follow Through

Your parents may agree or disagree. They may also need some time to process things before they can come up with a decision. If they say that they will think about it, give them the opportunity to do so.

Don’t feel too terrified or embarrassed to remind them about the conversation after some time. You can do so every other day or every week — the goal is to be consistent, which can help establish the fact that you have completely thought through your plan to switch schools and are serious about it.

No matter the decision of your parents, respect it and keep respecting them, too.

Refrain from assuming that just because you want to transfer colleges and your conversation with your parents went smoothly doesn’t mean right away that you will be going to a new school the following term or year.

Needless to say, your conversation with them can lead to a “yes”, “no” or “we’ll think about it”.

If your reason for wanting to attend a different school is quite alarming and urgent such as bullying or sexual harassment on campus, chances are that your parents will let you take your academic dreams elsewhere without batting an eye. Otherwise, if your reason is in the “just because” sphere, it’s likely for your plea to be vetoed.

Related Questions

When is the best time to transfer colleges?

The right time to switch to a different school is on a case-to-case basis. If the reason is the steep cost or something urgent, transferring mid-year might be the best step to take, although it can be stressful and difficult, especially if the other school is in a different state or the competitive type.

Related Article: Do You Need SAT to Transfer From Community College?

Do you have to inform your college advisor you want to transfer?

There is really no need to let your college advisor know that you are planning on going to another school — he or she is bound to know about it anyway. However, as a sign of courtesy, you may notify your college advisor, who can actually help make the transfer process go smoothly.

Read Also: Is Going to College Still Worth It?

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the College Reality Check.

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