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Transfer Process: Life Changing or a Big Hassle?


I recently reconnected with one of my former transfer students via a social networking site. I assisted the student with the transfer admission process at the institution I used to work at and he sent me one of those rare emails where a student reminds me why I wanted to become an educator. He raved about his transfer experience and how the decision to change colleges transformed his life. Fortunately this student had a positive transfer experience, but the transfer process can be tricky. Here are few things to consider:
Start Early: The sooner you contact the institution you are thinking of transferring to the better.

  • Ask what courses you should currently be enrolled in. Some schools want you to have completed as many general education courses as possible.
  • What are the transfer admission policies? Do they admit January transfer students? Can you transfer in your first-year or do you have to wait until you are a sophomore?
  • What are the statistics for admitted transfer applicants? Make sure you meet the average college GPA and standardized test requirements. What do you need to do to improve your profile? What is the transfer acceptance rate? The transfer admission process at some schools can be more competitive than the first-year application process.
  • Completing a transfer application can be just as extensive as completing a first-year application. Find out if the college or university you are interested in uses transfer Common Application or do they have a separate application process. What credentials do you need to submit for the transfer application process?

Show Me The Money:

  • Ask about the availability of financial aid for transfer students. Some schools do have special scholarships available.
  • Transferring academic credits can have a huge financial impact on your decision to transfer. If all of your current credits are not accepted, you may have to delay your graduation timeline. Find out if your current institution has any articulation agreements with schools you are interested in. If not, contact the school you are interested in and see if they have any courses from your current institution that have been previously accepted for credit. This may save you in the long run!
  • FInd out if there is on-campus housing available for transfer students.  If not, what is the cost difference for living off campus?

Deciding to transfer is big decision, but it does not mean that it is the end of your college career. US News & World Report wrote a great article last January on President Obama’s transfer experience. The article talks about how transferring may not be for everyone, but it may also take you places you never imagined!
Katherine Price
Transfer Advocate
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