DENVER, CO: Every year thousands of high schoolers choose between thousands of colleges and universities, banking on their intuition, hoping they’ll be happy with the higher education institution they choose. They go on tours, click around on the internet, ask their friends, counselors, parents, brothers, sisters and anyone that will listen question after question, aspiring to make their lives from ages 18 to 22 the best yet. Sorry kids, it turns out one in every three college students transfers from one college to another.

Lifestyles of the Switch and Famous

The University of Denver enrolls nearly 200 transfer students, meaning they have some secondary education credit, after receiving an average of 700 applications. Approximately 4% of DU’s Pioneer Nation is made up of students having transferred in while no data is currently available on the statistics of students leaving DU.

According to Niche, a website that ranks colleges and universities on everything from academics and looks to athletics and public transportation, DU received an overall grade of an A-, based on an average ranking of academics, athletics, campus quality, diversity, local area, professors, safety, student life and overall experiences.

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Source: . Published 2016


The University of Denver, as voted on by students currently enrolled or Pioneer alumni,

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Hannah Gouin (left) with sister Elizabeth Gouin (right) disliked Clemson’s culture and wanted to be closer to family. Photo by Paige Evans

received its lowest grades, at C- and C+, in drug safety and campus health and safety, respectively. While the local area and party scene around the University, both earning an A+, were considered the most successful attributes DU has to offer.

Meanwhile, College Transfer reports the the top 20 reasons college students transfer:

  1. Financial Circumstances
  2. Social Circumstances
  3. Sports Transfer
  4. Military Transfer
  5. To Move Away From Home
  6. Switch Majors
  7. Restart/Return To College
  8. Desire To Be Close To Home/Family
  9. Current College Is Not A Good Fit
  10. Academic Challenge


Go Pios

DU boasts statistics that show 81% of Pioneers would make the same choice in choosing a college if they could do it over again. Hannah Gouin, a Hospitality Management senior, said, “I love everything about DU. I love living in Denver, I love my major and all my classes and professors and I love all the friends I’ve made here,” as compared to  Clemson University, where she transferred from after her sophomore year.

“My school was in the south. [Clemson’s] culture was one really big reason that I transferred.” -Hannah Gouin

Another University of Denver student, Jessie Burke, 21, transferred from Villanova University because she “didn’t really make any meaningful connections with people up there. I already knew people at DU, like my ex-boyfriend.” Majoring in Engineering and the founder and president of DU’s Engineers Without Borders chapter, Burke switched schools to establish better friendships that would enhance her college experience all-around.

“When I got to DU I joined Alpha Phi. Without those friendships I would never have felt empowered enough to wholeheartedly pursue a career in STEM or to start EWB. The people I met at Denver gave me the confidence I needed to excel in my male-dominated classes. Transferring here made me a better person in every sense.” -Jessie Burke

DU’s Todd Rinehart, Associate Vice Chancellor for Enrollment and Director of Admission, advocates preparing high school students not for getting admitted to the university of their choice, but for achieving all that gaining higher education can offer students as world citizens.

No Pios

No statistics are made available by the University of Denver concerning students transferring out. Alia Miller, 22, transferred to DU from Gettysburg College then transferred again to the University of Connecticut. Miller said, “I just hadn’t found my fit at Gettysburg or DU. I didn’t like DU because I didn’t feel like it was a worthwhile education for me.” As a Hospitality major, Miller transferred first after her freshman year, then again after her junior year and will be graduating this spring.

Dylan Snover commutes from Denver to Boulder every day for class. Photo by Paige Evans

Meanwhile, Dylan Snover, another senior, transferred from DU to the University of Colorado at Boulder because of his major but still lives around the DU campus. “It’s definitely not convenient, but I love my major and I love my friends at DU, so I didn’t want to have to give up one to have the other, you know?” says Snover, an Environmental Studies major.

Another DU to CU transfer student is Chad Verdi, 21, who switched schools because he “hated the way DU is run in terms of student conduct and discipline.” Verdi was suspended after his first quarter at DU and chose to transfer so as not to fall behind in school.

When choosing a college to attend, there’s no way to predict whether you’ll love it or hate it. With what seems like unlimited universities to choose from and such a high national transfer rate, students are able to explore their options and find their fit.


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