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Thread: Undergraduate Question: Should I Transfer

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    Undergraduate Question: Should I Transfer

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    Hello All,

    Feel free to skip ahead to the bottom questions. I am currently finishing up my time at a community college and had originally planned to attend a local but not well known state school. It is my hope to one day get a PHD in economics. I realize however, that competition is incredibly high for such programs, and I am starting to reconsider whether or not it is a safe option to transfer into a program that has very little prestige. So I started looking for programs programs ranked on U.S. news that are reasonably priced for out of state students.

    Here is the rub. I do not really have a solid financial background at this point and I would hate to accumulate debts that would greatly harm my family members should I be unable to pay them after getting my degree. So here are my questions.

    1) Would it be worth transferring over into an undergraduate economics program that is more well known instead of going to a much more convenient and most likely less costly state university that is practically unknown?

    2) What well ranked colleges would provide an out of state undergraduate with a low cost tuition (tuition + room & board + additional expenses < $30,000)?

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    Re: Undergraduate Question: Should I Transfer

    How about a well-known in-state college? Is there one? Did you apply?

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    Re: Undergraduate Question: Should I Transfer

    You want to get a PhD in a better program, you will have to transfer to a more prestigious undergrad institution. Personally for me, I am in a top 50 undergrad institution, I am a little bit regret that I didn't transfer to a top 30ish(Michigan/Virginia) undergrad. A 4.0 from top 50 undergrad is not the same as a 4.0 from top 30 undergrad.

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    Re: Undergraduate Question: Should I Transfer

    Really depends on how different the rank is between the local state school and where you're targetting.

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    An Urch Guru Pundit Swami Sage
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    Re: Undergraduate Question: Should I Transfer

    Quote Originally Posted by Jayd View Post
    A 4.0 from top 50 undergrad is not the same as a 4.0 from top 30 undergrad.
    Well, he had a 3.3 GPA in a community college.

    OP: I've suggested to you before why someone with your academic background will generally not be successful in pursuing a PhD in economics. Unless things have changed dramatically over the past year, that advice still stands -- PhD admissions shouldn't be your primary consideration. I'll go as far to say it's an unrealistic goal.

    There's also nothing in your post history that indicates to me your personal inclinations should make you strongly prefer being an academic, rather than a professional in finance or consulting.

    You should speak to the career center at your community college, look up post-graduation data and other available information from the 4-year institutions that you are considering, and talk to mentors and family members that are familiar with your interests, background, and possible career choices. You shouldn't rely on the advice of posters here, most of whom are solely committed to PhD degrees. We know almost nothing about the professional/industry careers that should factor into your decisions.

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    Re: Undergraduate Question: Should I Transfer

    With a 3.3 cc gpa, how much higher could you really go if you transfered?

    I would strongly recommend against taking on extra debt for a situation like this. It looks like you are considering 50k or more of loans, that is real money that could take a long time to pay back and it is so hard to know if you are actually interested in a phd without any exposure to research. The risk/reward doesn't seem to be there.

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    Re: Undergraduate Question: Should I Transfer

    Quote Originally Posted by tm_member View Post
    How about a well-known in-state college? Is there one? Did you apply?
    There is but there would be significant issues with transferring to my state flagship university. I would probably lose most of my credits.

    Quote Originally Posted by chateauheart View Post
    Well, he had a 3.3 GPA in a community college.

    OP: I've suggested to you before why someone with your academic background will generally not be successful in pursuing a PhD in economics. Unless things have changed dramatically over the past year, that advice still stands -- PhD admissions shouldn't be your primary consideration. I'll go as far to say it's an unrealistic goal.

    There's also nothing in your post history that indicates to me your personal inclinations should make you strongly prefer being an academic, rather than a professional in finance or consulting.

    You should speak to the career center at your community college, look up post-graduation data and other available information from the 4-year institutions that you are considering, and talk to mentors and family members that are familiar with your interests, background, and possible career choices. You shouldn't rely on the advice of posters here, most of whom are solely committed to PhD degrees. We know almost nothing about the professional/industry careers that should factor into your decisions.
    Hello chateauheart, thank you for continuing to put up with me. My current GPA is roughly a 3.5. I have also been involved in tutoring in my department and I have received an award from the department. I still have not taken part in any research at this time. As a side note I did not realize that this thread had actually been posted. In my original attempt to submit it, it was not listed on the forum so I figured it didn't take. I came to a conclusion similar to yours between then and now. I have for the most part decided that I will go to my original university and do as well as I can. If I manage to do amazing getting nothing below an A- in any of my math or economics courses, then I will consider going on to do a PHD. If you have any last bits of advice for me I would love to hear them. Sorry for any typos.

    Also I have no expectation of getting into a top program at this point. I have realized that the competition in tremendous, and I have also realized I would be more than happy to end up at a lower ranked but respectable university. Finally, I just want to thank you. You have been one of the most helpful members on this forum to me.

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    Re: Undergraduate Question: Should I Transfer

    I will share my experience. I decided to attend my local university do to lower cost and the fact that i could live at home. The economics program is quite unknown. My biggest regret is not considering transferring to a well known school in economics in Canada. I don't have the opportunity to take electives in my desired area of interest or more advanced undergraduate courses. Sure i will finish my undergraduate degree without debt, but i'm going to find it tough when i apply to masters programs next round.

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