5 Ways to Research a University

After I transferred, I talked to friends who expressed interest in transferring as well. The main reason holding them back, however, was that they didn’t know where to find information about transferring beyond the school’s website. This is especially true when transferring from a 4-year college, as it happens less frequently. There’s simply less information about the process on the web.

However, by doing a little digging about the university, you can learn a lot about how they view prospective transfers, their transfer rates, and how transfers are doing at their school. Here are five ways to research a college or university:

  1. Tour the campus. If you’re in the area, why not take a tour? Some schools have transfer days, specifically for transfers to visit and learn more about their school. If they don’t, you can attend a tour, even if it’s geared towards prospective freshmen, and learn a lot about the school. Call the Admissions Center ahead of time to learn about the tours they offer and sign up for one.
  2. Put your email on the school’s mailing list. Oftentimes, schools want transfers. You can get brochures and pamphlets mailed to you so you can learn more about the schools. You can get on their mailing list by going to the school’s admissions website—if you can’t find it, call and ask! The staff’s job is to help, after all.
  1. Go on the school’s social media sites. This is one of the best ways to research a school. Universities and colleges nowadays are immersed and active on social media, especially with prospective students. You can find schools on Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, and even Pinterest and Snapchat. Go on these sites and see what the campus and culture of the school is like. Read the statistics and browse the images and links they have posted. Ask your questions in a more informal setting.  

USC_Admissions_Website

Furthermore, the school may have pages or accounts specifically dedicated to Admissions, or perhaps blog about the Admissions process. Look up these sites because they have a wealth of information with advice on how to transfer to their school, straight from the people who will read your application. That’s powerful stuff.  

  1. Look up the school on sites like College Confidential, or even sites like Reddit or Quora. Looking up the university or college on a site not affiliated with the school will help you learn a lot, too. Sites like College Confidential will have a forum dedicated to your school, with parents and students converging to discuss applications, majors, and acceptance rates. Remember that your questions should go to official admissions staff, but oftentimes the forum will have people who already transferred and are offering advice on the process.

Your school may have its own subreddit, which makes it another very valuable avenue to talk with current and potential students. I have seen professors and teaching assistants pop on the subreddit too, to offer their own input and advice. By viewing the other threads, you can also get a gist of what certain classes or majors are like. Likewise, Quora hosts questions and answers you may find helpful.  

  1. Talk to current students. You might have friends or know friends of friends who are attending the school currently. If you have questions about campus life, ask them! They’re the ones who are experiencing it firsthand and can answer you best. If you know someone who has transferred to the school, even better. Ask them if you can get coffee with them, or if they have time for a quick chat.

If anything, just do a Google search and you’re bound to find some information. I usually Google my questions and include one of the sites where I know there’s information, such as social media or networking sites, in my query (i.e. business administration at USC reddit). Don’t let the lack of information stop you from trying!

Do you have any other methods for learning more about a university? Let us know!

– Michelle L.