Not All College Decisions are Permanent

More than one in three college students transfer at least once within six years according to Inside High Ed.

Not All College Decisions are Permanent

Rahima Adnan, Staff Writer

At seventeen we are supposed to make one of the biggest decisions of our lives, choosing where to go to college. We are supposed to know where we want to live, study and deal with the cost of college, all while we are still kids. Our whole lives we are told college will be the best four years of our life. Spoiler alert– they might not be.  More than one in three college students transfer at least once within six years according to Inside Higher Ed. Students decide to transfer schools for a variety of reasons.

Cost is one of the biggest reasons students decide to switch schools. The United States is the sixth most expensive country in the world to go to college according to Business Insider. The US is $1.48 trillion dollars in student loan debt, with 44.2 millions Americans with student loans. In the US, the average amount of money students owe is $31,100 per borrower when they graduate. In Virginia the amount of money they owe after graduating is $27,717 dollars.

Students are now weighing the opportunity cost and thinking about how student loan debt might affect their post college financial stability. Student loan debt can limit individuals from pursing their dreams after college.  Loan payments might make it difficult to afford housing costs. Students can use repayment options like income based payment which is when you pay based on your salary. They can also postpone payments if they do not have a job or lose their job.  There are many student loan payment options. 

Twenty one million young adults from ages 24 to 34 now live at home with their parents, which is more than any generation before according to Investopedia. This is due in large part to many of them graduating college and looking for jobs during the great recession.  One of the biggest reasons why young people are living at home is to save money. They could be saving up money for a house or trying to pay back a loan.  For many young Americans, it makes great financial sense to live at home. 

Students who go far from home for college might experience culture shock. They might suddenly realize that not everyone shares their same values or customs. The same individual that was excited to begin a new adventure far from home might suddenly feel homesick. When the price of a visit home is a four hundred dollar plane ticket, the distance might seem greater.  For some students, the transition to college is tougher if they feel disconnected from their trusted support system.

In addition to tuition, there are many hidden costs. Going out to eat and taking Ubers all adds up. These costs can vary greatly based on the location of your university and its cost of living.  For example, if you go to school in New York City, the average cost of a meal for one person is $48.56 according to Zagat. 

Calissa at San Diego State

Hylton alumna Calissa Gordon currently attends San Diego State. She has some advice for current seniors about picking schools. She advises students to take a close look at tuition and living costs. Paying forty thousand dollars a year to take general education classes might not be worth it. Gordon said that “going to college somewhere close to home isn’t a bad thing. You have to think of the big picture.” Gordon plans to transfer to a school in Virginia next year.

It’s okay to transfer schools. People change and their ideas evolve.