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Why Transferring Schools Can Be a Good Thing

Authored By: 
George Higgins, Headmaster

When you hear the term “transfer student,” you often think of the new kid in town or the person who’s been asked to leave a school.  But a growing number of parents and students are choosing to follow their instincts and leave their current school voluntarily, going against the advice of friends and school professionals in order to establish a fresh start.

Conventional wisdom suggests that students’ college admission chances are increased by showing that they’ve been at the same school for their entire high school career.  However, what happens when the school that was a good fit for your 5-, 10-, or 13-year-old isn’t the best fit for your 16-year-old?  Do you stick it out for another two years, hoping that your student can just get through it?  Or do you make the choice to leave, providing an opportunity to find a place where your child can thrive and learn to excel, not just “get by”?

In my 20+ years as headmaster of The Beekman School, I’ve met with dozens of families who are torn by this very choice, but have taken the bold first step to explore other options.  Often, these are people who were thrilled to be accepted into their current school as elementary, middle, or high school students.  Yet, as we know, children go through many changes as they mature, and what was a wonderful place to grow and explore has now become a place where the daily struggles of academic or social challenges have started to create obstacles rather than providing pathways.

Transferring to a new school isn’t quitting.  It doesn’t have to sabotage your chances of getting into your college of choice.  As we have found numerous times, developing a strong transcript filled with challenging courses and good grades is going to be a big asset in the college admissions process, and there will be many options if a student’s high school career has been a positive one.

So, if you’re not happy – start your search engines!