Thank you for the thoughtful response!
After reading your comment, I’ve updated towards staying at my current school for the following reasons:
I’m not sure how important peer effects are compared to other factors, but I get what you mean. In high school I had a good group of friends that challenged me academically. So far in college I haven’t had that kind of challenge from my friends, but I am just in my freshman year so that could change as I meet other people. Most of my academic motivation nowadays comes from myself and is less dependent on a healthy competition between me and my friends. I am in the school’s honors college as well, and while the honors students are more academically motivated, for me the challenge from my peers doesn’t feel the same as it did in high school.
I will probably get a master’s degree after finishing my undergrad, though I’m not yet sure what field it’ll be in. I think I can aim for a more well-known school once I get my master's. In terms of location, I’m not set on any particular city yet, though if I had to guess where I’ll eventually end up it would be somewhere on the East Coast or West Coast. I think this is mainly because my career path is not super solid right now and I’m mostly exploring different career paths. In terms of mental health, I can definitely see how a transfer could impact GPA negatively. Transferring could hurt my grad school admission chances if it lowers my GPA.
Overall, while it looks like there are early-career benefits to attending a top university, at least for me it may not be worth the costs in terms of increased financial cost, added stress, losing friends, and time and energy taken by transferring schools.
Hi there! I am a freshman undergraduate finishing my first semester of college at a local US state university. I’m majoring in economics and statistics. Although I’m not sure what career path I’ll take just yet, I can see myself doing global priorities research or AI policy research down the line. I could also see myself working for the US federal government or at a think tank. I am considering data science as another option because of the career capital and the flexibility to work at many different places. The long-term plan is work on a top global issue, either directly or in a supporting role.
The question I’m grappling with is: Should I transfer to a more elite university to improve my career prospects?
The way I see it, going to a more elite university could provide the following benefits:
However, there are some possible downsides as well:
Other pertinent information:
Any advice or guidance would be greatly appreciated!