Taking the leap to a new school? You may have a myriad of reasons for transferring — financial needs, better classes, better technology, more prestigious faculty, family obligations, the list can go on and on.
But no matter your reasons, the challenges you face are the same: new environment, new people, new school policies, and, most of all, new opportunities.
When you consider transferring, you have plenty of details to sort out. Here are four tips to keep in mind as you make your decision:
1. What Will the Transfer Admissions Process Be Like?
Ask yourself several questions about transfer admissions process:
Do you have a clearly defined academic need or desire to transfer?
The college you apply to will want to know why you are transferring. For instance, perhaps your current school lacks a program you want to pursue, but your target college offers it.
Will you use a common or school-specific application?
Some school-specific applications require information and answers beyond what common or universal applications call for.
What are the important deadlines for sending applications and other paperwork?
You need to know deadlines for submitting the application, submitting essays and references, applying for scholarships, and so on. These deadlines may be different.
Does the school have different prerequisites, such as GPA, test scores, necessary classes, etc.?
The average GPA for transfer students, for example, is a 2.5.
Do you need letters of recommendation?
Some schools require letters from authorities like current professors or deans.
Will you need engagement in school activities to better your chances?
Some honor societies and other subject-specific clubs better your chances of acceptance.
2. Will Your Credits Transfer?
Because colleges have different requirements for various areas of study, make sure that your credits transfer — or at least as many as possible. This will save you the time and money you’d spend on extra classes and semesters to make up for the credits you lost in the transfer.
For example, while your current school may not require that you take calculus, the school you apply to may require calculus, so you would have to take it at your current school before transferring.
3. What Will You Study?
Will you pursue your same field of interest, or will you change majors completely? Keep in mind that colleges don’t all offer the same majors, nor do similar majors always have the same name or requirements. For example, some schools keep majors such as film or journalism housed under the general communication major, whereas other schools have specific majors and departments for those subjects. Do your research to determine the program that best serves your educational goals.
4. How Will You Afford It?
Transfer students often have access to the same general scholarships and grants as any other students. But transfer students may not have access to scholarships that colleges give out to incoming freshmen. Some schools offer scholarships specifically for incoming transfer students, so research the admissions process at your future school.
You can apply or be nominated for other transfer scholarships, such as The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation’s scholarship for community college students transferring to leading four-year universities.
Consider these four important points during the college transfer process. Thorough research will help you make the best decisions regarding your future education.