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After You Transfer, How Important Are Your College Grades?

If you didn't get into your school of choice on the first go-round, you may be spending a year or two at a backup school while you try to beef up your credentials and transfer to your dream college. During that time, you likely took your grades pretty seriously. Are you home free on caring once you get into your college of choice?

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By Sarah Wright

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'C's Get Degrees'

Transfer students often work hard at their first school in order to gain admission to a more competitive institution. After getting into this second school, some students might feel the urge to relax a bit. It is true that no matter what grades you get, you get a degree if you pass enough classes to fulfill requirements and get the necessary amount of credits. And if you aren't applying to grad school, it can seem reasonable to assume that you don't need to worry about what grades you're getting in college, so long as you're learning enough to justify paying tuition. But that attitude isn't necessarily the best.

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Why You Shouldn't Slack Off

The desire to relax a bit after years of hard work is understandable. But to slack off to the point that you're getting grades that are less than your best is a mistake. Here are a bunch of reasons why.

Academic Probation

A lot of more competitive institutions have academic probation or a similar system of censure for students who aren't doing well in their classes. Sometimes, expulsion is the consequence for not bringing your GPA up after being on probation. That'd be quite a waste of your hard work to get into your dream school, wouldn't it?

Bad Habits

Slacking off isn't a great habit to get into. Assuming that getting by on 'good enough' will work for your entire life is also a mistake. The truth is that life after college requires hard work if you want to be successful. You might not think that success is important now, but your attitude toward success will probably change if you end up with a low-paying job you hate and have to stick with because your options are limited.

Grad School and Jobs

Obviously, if you want to get into grad school, you should try to get good grades. Even just shooting for a B average will be good, since a lot of programs have a minimum GPA that they'll consider for acceptance. But it's not just grad school that's concerned about the specifics of your college performance beyond the fact that you earned a degree - some employers also want to know what your GPA was.

Common Sense

Why would you work hard to get into a prestigious school and then slack off? It seems like a waste of time and effort to try to get into a good college and then blow off all but the bare minimum of work. You're probably not absorbing much if you're performing poorly in your classes. Working hard and doing your best will be reflected in the grades you receive.

Think about whether it's a good idea to transfer before you worry too much about the logistics.

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