Transfer or Grad Early

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )

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Transfer or Grad Early

Postby Mongoosie » Thu Nov 02, 2017 5:40 pm


I'm currently a freshman in his fall semester at an average university in Michigan (GVSU, WSU, MSU, WMU) and have just found out that I can finish my BA in econ here in 2.5 years, because of ap credits from high school. I'm torn because I'd originally planned on transferring to UMich as a sophomore or junior transfer to finish up my degree. Unfortunately I also don't think I would have time to do study abroad, something I was excited for as a high school student. Would the extra year of potential income be worth it? Or is UMich's reputation worth taking the full 4 years? Thanks so much.


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Re: Transfer or Grad Early

Postby mcmand » Thu Nov 02, 2017 5:49 pm

If you're asking whether it's worth it in terms of law school admissions, what matters is you getting a high GPA in something that you actually care about learning (arguably you don't need to care, but I think it's helpful that you do). Everything else is really secondary.

The only other factor that would relate to law school would be minimizing your debt burden from undergrad. If transferring to Michigan will keep your costs low, then maybe it's worth it. If Michigan will cost you more money/student loans, probably not worth it. I suppose you could also look into whether there are more opportunities for a Michigan undergrad to intern for attorneys/in the legal field than at your current school, but I don't think this should be a significant factor since you can do this virtually anywhere.

Everything else that comes with this question really has to do with non-law school factors. What do you want to be doing with that extra year? Are you paying your own way through school or is someone else? Do you have other classes/experiences you want to try, either at your school or at Michigan? Is Michigan opening up some non-law opportunities you're interested in, either in academia or in a field you want to be in before you go to law school (if ever)?

Someone feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think the relative prestige of Michigan will help out in a huge way on law school apps more than preserving GPA, keeping educational costs low, and doing whatever is important to you in your education and career.

Addendum: Also, you're a freshman. Stop worrying about this, other than in terms of your budget and short-term academic/career interests. Go back to doing whatever it is college freshman do these days (Yik yak?). Do well in your classes and you'll be fine. And if you're not paying your own way/nobody's pressuring you to finish college early/cost is not an issue, I'd say just take almost all or all 4 years. Take interesting classes, enjoy having fewer responsibilities, and do something fun and/or proactive with your time that matters to you. Those kinds of soft factors will make you stand out in a grad school application down the road, rather than racing to the finish line of undergrad.

Transferring as an undergrad is also a huge pain in the ass. Many courses aren't interchangeable. Talk to the undergrad advisers about this before you attempt it. They will discourage you, and it won't be out of self-interest in keeping you there, but rather to avoid the bureaucratic headaches. If you're really unhappy or your current school doesn't provide you what you need, then investigate more.
Last edited by mcmand on Fri Jan 26, 2018 6:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: Transfer or Grad Early

Postby Mikey » Thu Nov 02, 2017 6:04 pm

Do whatever will work best for you. Just make sure not to let your GPA slip and try to have it as high as possible because that will count way more than the school you went to.


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Re: Transfer or Grad Early

Postby goldenbear2020 » Fri Nov 03, 2017 11:54 am

UMich gives AP credit too. Could you transfer to UMich as a sophomore and finish up in 2 more years (maybe with summers too)?


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Re: Transfer or Grad Early

Postby merde_happens » Fri Nov 03, 2017 12:13 pm

Hi - Michigan UG alum here.

The poster above is spot-on with regard to law school apps - GPA is king. Even at the margins, Michigan wouldn't give you the kind of small bump that some HYSP kids get (as much as it pains me to say). To be honest, unless you're in the college of engineering I don't think it's appreciably harder to get an A at Michigan than to get an A at some of the other schools that you mentioned, but it's a consideration all the same.

There are plenty of other good reasons to go to Michigan - e.g. the opportunities it will afford you outside of the narrow world of law school applications. And Ann Arbor is a really great place to spend your college years. At the same time, there are plenty of good reasons to stay where you are - e.g. the ability to graduate early, keeping tuition costs lower, etc.

Either way, I would consider law school applications to be a low priority, tiebreaker-on-the-margins in this scenario.

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