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Question #91187 posted on 04/23/2018 12:52 p.m.

Dear alumni and current writers of the 100 Hour Board,

Why do students transfer from BYU?

(Consider this as several separate questions, perhaps: 1. Why do university students switch schools? 2. Are BYU students more or less likely to leave for those or other reasons? 3. While a BYU student did you ever consider transferring? Why? 4. Do you wish you transferred? Why? )

-My Name Here


Dear Mahnahmahnah,

I really like the way you broke your question into 4 parts. It makes logical sense to me so I will answer your questions in the order you asked them.

1. Why do university students switch schools?

They aren't having the experience they want. This could be because they don't like the school culture, or they want to major in something that isn't offered at their current school, or they want to be closer to family, or they just want to change things up. Logistical reasons also play a huge factor. Many people don't get into the school they want, so they go to one for a few semesters and then transfer. Getting married to someone at another school is also a common reason to transfer. It's also not uncommon to transfer to accommodate work, or because of personal, health related or financial reasons.

2. Are BYU students more or less likely to leave for those or other reasons?

While schools give statistic on students transferring in, they typically don't give statistics on students transferring out, and BYU is no exception. My guess however is that BYU students are less likely to transfer for cultural or academic reasons than other schools. The main statistic used to measure how badly students want to go to a certain university is yield rate. The yield rate is the percentage of accepted students that actually attend said university. Last year BYU came in 2nd for yield rate for national universities--just behind Stanford.

I think one reason that BYU scores so high in yield rate is because BYU has a very specific mission that people are aware of. Typically you're applying to BYU it's because you want to go to a top notch university that has LDS culture and standards. Many of the people that would likely transfer just don't ever come here in the first place. That's not to say that people don't transfer to other schools because they don't enjoy the BYU experience, but most people that come here get what they were expecting and are typically pretty happy about it, or they decide it's easier to graduate than to transfer schools.

3. While a BYU student did you ever consider transferring? Why?

It would appear that none of the current writers have ever considered seriously considered transferring. I thought about trying to transfer to MIT at the beginning of my freshman year, because MIT is my dream school and I was worried that I wouldn't get the same challenging classes, hands on experiences, or research opportunities at BYU that I would get at MIT. I quickly realized however that BYU gave me all those things and the amazing culture I love so much.

My friends that have transferred from BYU switched because they decided to major in something not offered at BYU, to pursue athletic opportunities at other schools, or I had a friend that served their mission in the Pacific Islands and loved it so much they transferred to BYU-Hawaii. I'm sure there are people that have left for other reasons but I personally don't know anyone in that situation.

4. Do you wish you transferred? Why?

Nope! I've grown so much academically, spiritually and personally here that I wouldn't trade it for anything. Plus I've made so many amazing friends. I realize that this isn't at all what you're looking for, but I've just been thinking a lot about this last year recently and it's been filling me with warm fuzzies.

If you personally are considering transferring schools, I'd recommend talking with your major or college advisement center. They've dealt with students who have transferred so they'd know a bit more about why students might leave, how to decide whether it's right for you, what other opportunities might be out there, and how to logistically go about transferring. 

I might not have been able your answer perfectly but I gave my best shot. I hope this helps!



posted on 04/24/2018 7:12 a.m.
I and several other current and former students I’ve spoken to had an interest in transferring in the wake of experiencing a faith crisis. BYU is an extremely unpleasant place to question your faith, and it’s not uncommon to be left essentially faking orthodoxy because the alternative is expulsion. Transferring was never a serious possibility for me, but if it had been I would have seriously considered it. I can’t say whether it would have changed the outcome of my faith crisis, but resolving my questions in a more neutral setting would have left me with better mental health and fewer hard feelings. It’s my best guess that this is the most common BYU-specific reason for transferring out.