My First Year at Kelley: Should I Transfer Out?

I’m a freshman at IU this year, and I am a Direct Admit to Kelley and Hutton Honors. When I first came into IU, I can’t say I was happy. I had given up my dream school USC to go to IU because it was significantly cheaper and ranked similarly to Marshall (USC’s business school). Additionally, I came from a competitive public school in the South where no one knew about IU and everyone either went to southern public schools or Ivies/near Ivies; as someone who was in the top 5% of their graduating class, I hated that all my peers were going to schools like WashU and NYU while I had to go to a public school no one knew about. I felt like all my work went to waste.

However, Kelley is an amazing and extremely underrated business school, and I mean it. It deserves more recognition in the South, and the skills I’ve gained here are super useful in my future career. Classes like K204 teach you Excel and Access skills you won’t get elsewhere, and I got the opportunity to build a database for this disability support/service organization in Bloomington with a team. Considering that everything is online, the professors work really well with the new teaching format, and I can say I have learned so much. I especially gained a lot from Compass, a class that teaches you networking skills, branding skills, and building a strong LinkedIn, all of which are things that give Kelley students huge advantages for seeking internships. I also came in with 40 college credits because IU is so generous about accepting AP and Dual Enrollment credit; this meant that I entered college as a sophomore and I am able to take sophomore-level classes my freshman year. I also had only 1 Gen-Ed to complete thanks to my AP/DE creds.

Unfortunately, the cons I have experienced at IU have outweighed my pros. Many of the people here are pretty rude and have a TERRIBLE work ethic. Many of my classmates will message me for exam answers, and I had one classmate call me at 11 in the night to FaceTime him and give him answers on a LabKoin challenge which was due in one hour. This same guy was in my K204 group for the service-learning project and didn’t do anything at ALL. And guess what? Thanks to the other hard-working members, this dude got a free grade and still has an A+ in K204. I have seen many people like this kid at Kelley and I don’t like it. I believe this is because of Kelley’s admissions standards. The only 2 requirements are (1) 30 ACT/1370 SAT (2) 3.8/4.0 GPA, which are somewhat low. There is also no background check on extracurriculars, work experience, awards, etc. There are kids who genuinely work hard but get rejected because they made a 28 on the ACT, and have a 3.7 GPA. As for the students being rude, I was ganged up by a group of Indian kids once who told me to give up my seat so they could sit together, and when I tried to make friends I have found the people to be quite cold or ignore me in general when I talk to them.

This makes me realize Kelley isn’t a great fit for me despite the academics being so good. As I apply to other schools for transfer, I realize their business schools are nowhere near as good as Kelley. UNC-Chapel Hill’s Kenan-Flagler may be ranked #5 in the country, but they don’t start their business education until junior year. This is a similar case to other good business schools such as UVA Darden and UC Berkeley Haas. My minor is also really special since IU is one of the few big schools in the USA which offers it.

I really don’t know if it’s worth transferring. Bloomington is a great city, my professors are caring, and my classes are great. However, I’m tired of the students I’ve interacted with at IU who are rude, lazy, or have taken advantage of me, and I’m not too happy on campus.

What should I do? Should I stick it out sophomore year, and see if I meet newer and nicer people? Is it the fact that I’m online? Should I just apply as a transfer in case? (I have a budget for transfer apps). I appreciate any advice!

You are right about Kelly it is one of the top schools for business. Not so underrated- maybe in the south- but many students come from east and west coast as well as Midwest for the opportunities it offers.
Super important at a huge school like IU to find your people- sounds like you have some space to do that and then decide. Did you rush? Big Greek system there that while competitive can open your world up socially. How about joining a club or activity. I know lots of Kelly kids work on the dance marathon or join a business frat. Both of which are excellent for networking as well as super social.

1 Like

Hi, I’m going to agree with the other poster that it sounds like you just need to find more like-minded people/friends! Forget your issues with your high school classmates and prestige concerns…IU Kelley is a great school like you are seeing.

I wonder if some of the issues you are having socially and with cheating are really complications of covid. Are all of your classes online? I wonder if that is increasing these cheating texts…it’s probably easier to message someone to cheat that you’ve never actually met, and/or cheat in a class that is all online I would imagine it is just a lower sense of connection and accountability. Plus, cheating aside, college in covid is hard, I’m sorry you have to spend your first year this way. I would say hang in there and look for some clubs…even if online…that you can make some better social connections. It’s a big school and I know that nice, non cheating students are out there!!!

1 Like

There is a huge gap in maturity with Freshmen/Sophomores in particular. You may be facing some of that. There was some good advice about finding activities that will allow you to meet other people and find your tribe so to speak. I imagine that it’s really hard given the changes in classes and the college experience during COVID. Stick it out another year. The devil you know and that sort of thing.

Glad to hear you liked your profs and classes. Kelley is one of son’s top picks.


Try branching out to other Hutton students who AREN’T in Kelley - kids who major in math, in foreign language/culture, in film, in philosophy, in anthropology, in CS+x … will have lots of different views and topics to discuss.
I’m not sure clubs are working due to Covid, but generally charity/volunteering groups where you do something together is a good way to meet interesting people (think: Habitat for Humanity, for example. There are lots of them at IU).

As for your classmate who’s coasting, you can’t be complicit with this - providing answers is cheating and all students involved could get an F on the assignement or the course. That guy’s not worth the risk, not for you and not for your team’s partners. With so many classes online, professors are extra vigilant and paying even more attention.
I suppose there’s no honor system in Hutton - at my college, if such a thing were to occur, the student would have been turned in since there was a strong honor system and acting like this would have dishonored our college and the pledge we’d taken. It’d have been a very big deal and wouldn’t have just elicited the anger you show, so perhaps I’m not evaluating this right, but asking for/providing answers to something that’s due to the professor should be a big no-no even without any sort of honor code. Look into it perhaps (discretely, with someone from the Honors College, or just by reading your Hutton or Kelley handbook) and some other posters may be able to provide perspective.

In short, I don’t think you should transfer, but rather find new friends and activities.

BTW, CONGRATULATIONS on doing well, many of these classes are really hard. :slight_smile:

BTW 2, Kelley is very prestigious in the Northeast, NYC/Boston/Philly/DC, the Midwest, and the MidAtlantic region. :slight_smile:


I know a quite a few students from Florida and Georgia at Kelley, so there are southern students there. My daughter might be there in the fall. It is an excellent B school. I do believe Covid has a lot to do with the social situation at many schools. My older son was very depressed sitting in a dorm and taking online classes. He came home and will go back after break. As the other posters mentioned, if you are interested in Greek life or a specific cause reach out, so many non-profits need volunteers now, you may find like minded people. You can always send in the transfer apps and take a few months to decide. Good luck. Enjoy your winter break.


Your alternative, USC, is one of the biggest party schools in the country. Do you really think it would be any different there?

1 Like

Thank you for your kind words! I think maybe I’ll try to get involved in more clubs as you said!


I’m glad to hear Kelley is one of your son’s top choices!

@MYOS1634 Actually, in my one Gen-Ed class, I met amazing people, and I loved how creative they were. I found that many of the kids outside of Kelley really are nice. I’ll definitely take your advice and try to branch out more next semester! And with the cheating/people contacting me for answers, I typically say “I don’t know” or “I haven’t done the assignment yet.” I’m really bad at saying “No”, especially since I never encountered situations like this in my high school. However, I did help that guy who called me at 11, and I regretted it. I’ve limited my contact with him ever since.


@erd1020 I hope your son is doing okay! Thanks for your advice :slight_smile:

@whyboydanny It’s a bit difficult for me to find people with everything being online, so most people I contact often are people I’ve done group work with. My parents don’t really want me to rush, and I’m not sure if I’d fit in at a sorority. I’ll try to sign up for more clubs and activities though!

“I had to go to a public school no one knew about.”

We live in the Northeast of the US. I have definitely heard of IU Kelley for business. It is very good and very well known.

" Kelley is an amazing and extremely underrated business school"

I definitely agree on the “amazing” part. The “underrated” part I do not think that I agree with. The people who need to know (eg, anyone who might offer you a job after graduation) certainly do know about it.

I think of USC for football. I suppose that Indiana is good for football also. However, I think that for business you are at a university that is just as good if not better.

“Many of the people here are pretty rude and have a TERRIBLE work ethic”

Freshmen at university might be split into three groups.

Some have great work ethic. They will do well.

Some start off with a bad work ethic, discover that they do badly for the first semester or two, wake up, and have a good work ethic by sometime probably early in their sophomore year. They will not be a problem next year because they will have gotten their act together.

Some start off with a bad work ethic, and never get their act together. This might be a smaller group. However, they will not be a problem next year because they will be gone. They will flunk out.

What this means is that as you get into your upper years, the partyers will disappear, and the serious students will be much more abundant.

If someone asks you for answers, say “no”. Learning to say “no” is a valuable skill that you will use for the rest of your life.

There will be jerks, students who attend university to party, and lazy people who want you to do their work for them at any university. These same people will also show up in any corporate environment. Learning to deal with them is a valuable business skill. Group members who do no work at all are also normal in a business environment. Perhaps one of the main lessons from group projects is that you are lucky if there are two people in the group who do useful work.

I think that you are at a great university that is also affordable. As a business major, you should understand that “affordable” is very important.

IU is a great school, but is also large enough to have a wide range of students. I agree with others that you need to put some effort into finding people like you. There will be intelligent and serious students in many parts of the university, including business, engineering, and almost any other major that you can think of.

And yes, university this year is tough everywhere because of COVID. It seems likely that by September enough people will have been vaccinated to make this much less of an issue, and possibly (hopefully) not an issue at all.


Thank you, he is doing well. I think you will do great things one day, keep it up!


I understand. There are a number of activities to look at joining virtually to start. I agree that there may be groups outside of Kelly at IU that will also help you broaden your horizons! Good luck- there are great students at Kelly- I know a number of them and it sounds like you just found some bad apples at the start. Give it a chance- amazing internship and job placement awaits

1 Like

@DadTwoGirls I appreciate this response. I’ll try to keep an open mind going forward this semester. I’m actually taking 2 classes related to my minor, so I’m excited to interact with more students outside of Kelley! :smiley:


Hey, not sure if you’ll see this but I have a pretty simple answer.

The classes that you are in now are specifically designed to weed out the kids that you’ve been referencing. As an Indiana kid with plenty of friends that went through Kelley, I promise that it will get better next year. Most of those students will end up dropping out, will get caught cheating, or will not meet the standard admission requirements (although you’re in K204 which is honors, so it’s more likely to be the first two).

Stick it out and I promise it will get better.


Thank you so much @ryders3! I appreciate your motivation!

Hi!! I didn’t read your entire thread but sounds like you have gotten some great advice! If it makes you feel any better I KNOW that you are not alone! I have a son at Kelley who is now a senior. Guess what…I got a call that he wanted to transfer until he got into a business fraternity (coed). It turns out that some others in the frat felt the same way until they found their group…this could be ANY group (as others have said above).

We parents are very saddened for you students (college and hs) having to go through COVID and making socializing and normal class time less available as well as those other opportunities to socialize…but push through and find some opportunities…be creative in your search for finding some friends or enjoy getting to know yourself and finding your personal strengths and enjoyment.

I just wanted you to know that this is a common feeling no matter where you go to college. Put yourself out there (as able) and try to find or MAKE your group!!! I also know that they have counseling there…take advantage of that and share your thoughts and feelings! Talk to other students…you are not alone in this feeling!!

Thank you so much for sharing your story!! Stay strong…this is a big character builder and an opportunity to develop resilience for your future… I know from experience!

Please let us know what you decide to do and how things are going!!!


@boseownr I appreciate your kind words!! :slight_smile: Your son’s story is quite motivating! I actually decided to stick it out another year, try to get more involved in clubs, and meet new people. If I’m still unhappy sophomore year, I’ll transfer for junior year.