5 Questions to Ask When Considering a College Transfer3 August 2016
Transferring from one college to another can be intimidating, especially because it is a big decision that affects other areas of your life like where you live, finances, and friendships. But transferring colleges can also be extremely rewarding and exciting! It offers new adventures, new course offerings and instructors, and new opportunities to focus on a career you really want. In fact, the number one reason for a college transfer is to pursue a degree or specialization that is not offered at your current school. The important thing to remember is that you are not alone! Almost every college has a transfer counselor to help guide you through applying, acceptance, course equivalencies, and scheduling. This guidance is invaluable and should be utilized from the moment you consider your transfer. Here are 5 questions to ask when considering a college transfer.
- Have you met the prerequisites? Prerequisites can vary, not only by institution, but also by program. If you plan to transfer, you may need to have completed certain courses, or a certain number of credits.
- Which of your credits will transfer? Some colleges have an online credit transfer calculator. Others have an outright application. And you may not need to be accepted by that college to fill those out on your own. However, it’s always to your benefit speaking directly to an admissions counselor about what credit transfers to expect.
- When do you want to graduate? (And how long will it actually take you?) Just because you’re a year from graduation at your current college doesn’t mean that will be the case for the college you transfer into. In fact, it’s a good rule of thumb to estimate an extra year when transferring. That means more tuition costs, student fees, and time. But it maybe also mean you are better prepared for the career you want. You must find a balance between your goals.
- What materials should be included in the application? Most applications come with a checklist that clearly states what to include. However, it may not reference a cover letter, which may help your case if you’ve taken time off or are reapplying after being previously rejected. Look for opportunities to establish your organization and motivation to attend.
- Will my financial aid transfer? Most financial aid is either college-based or location-based. Notify and thank your benefactors if you plan to transfer, and the financial aid may carry over. However, it’s better to rely on new financial aid opportunities available through the new college.
After your application has been accepted, the transfer counselor should help you gather and complete any further materials. They will also guide you through the enrollment process and help you plan out a schedule of courses to meet your particular goals.
Of course, there are always other questions that may arise in the application and enrollment process, as each school is different. It is important to be familiar with the materials and resources you’re given in order to set yourself up to succeed.