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Should I transfer MSW programs after the first year?

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I recently was accepted for deferred admission in fall of 2019 to my #1 choice MSW program. I am currently enrolled in my #2 choice MSW program. I’m strongly considering transferring to school #1 after my first year at school #2. I contacted school #1 and found out 24 credits would transfer directly to school #1 from school #2. This would mean I could finish the program either on time (I’m not advanced standing) in April of 2020 or a bit later in August of 2020, depending on if I decided to take 18 credits per semester or not. (I would probably not and thus graduate in August 2020). 


My reasons for wanting to transfer include better elective choices, less macro classes meaning more focus on my area of interest (mental health), no need to choose a theoretical orientation as is required at school #2, and at school #1 there are more hours in your advanced field placement than in your foundation field placement, meaning I get more time to learn what I want to ultimately be doing rather than learning case management stuff. Although I would still get a year of case management stuff through school #2 before transferring. 


However, I have a few practical concerns. I currently have an advising appointment with school #2 to talk about transferring, however, I looked it up and apparently non-degree seeking students are not eligible for financial aid. So I’m thinking I should cancel the advising meeting and just let them know after I’m done with my 1st year that I won’t be returning. Since I’ll be enrolled in a new program, my students loan wouldn’t be due then, correct? Is it bad to just drop out of a program? 


Additionally, I’m worried about the social aspect of transferring. I feel like trusting your classmates is a huge element of social work classes and I’m worried that after the students at school #1 having a year of classes together, I would have a hard time finding my place in the cohort and therefore speaking up in classes. 


I’m also worried about the rigor of school #1. I went to school #1 for undergrad and it was much harder than school #2 for undergrad. I’m not sure if that general difference transfers to the MSW program though. 


Another thing to note is that school #2 is better as far as field placements go due to its proximity to a major city. School #1 is about an hour from school #2 and the city.


This is a really insanely difficult decision for me. If anyone has any experience transferring into a different MSW program, or just any input in general, I would really appreciate it :)

Edited by FutureSocialWorker95
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Hmm, to be honest. I would continue at the school you're at now. Unless the other school you are considering transferring to will be cheaper and require taking out less loans. I think with Social Work it is better to just get out of your MSW program quickly+ least amount of debt. Although I am not a transfer, I did a 3 year part time program and regret it in retrospect. I am also going the mental health route, and field was very surface level for me. After speaking with licensed professionals, I was told by most of them that you learn much more once you beginning working towards licensure than you would in field ( if you are interested in pursing licensure). 

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