Let’s be honest, learning how to transfer colleges is a nightmare. Figuring out what credits will transfer, if any even do, deciding on a program to major in at the new college, working out scholarships, all of it is a pain.
However, many college students go through this annoying process at some point in time and having a guide to help you through it can be a blessing. If you need help to transfer colleges, read on to learn how to transfer colleges easier.
Why Transfer Colleges?
There are dozens of reasons a person may consider transferring colleges. Whether it be for affordability, location, or even prestige, it seems more and more college students find themselves trying to transfer to a different school.
If affordability is a concern, there are definitely schools out there that may be more affordable to you. One way students can make college more affordable is to attend a community college to complete their general education requirements before transferring to a four-year university.
Courses at community colleges are often much less expensive than those at a university, and many community colleges have deals with universities to make transferring less of a hassle for students.
For some students, location is everything. Whether it be moving far away from home for school and realizing you are too homesick to focus on your studies or wanting desperately to be in your dream college city, your college’s location can be a big deal. This tends to be a situation first-year students end up in, but it is also common for those in the military.
Transferring schools simply for the prestige may seem silly to some, but for those of you who want to be lawyers or doctors, prestige can be a big deal. When applying for certain jobs, having a degree from a community college simply won’t cut it.
Law offices and prestigious hospitals are looking for those with degrees from Harvard, Stanford, Johns Hopkins, or other big names that are accredited. Having started your degree at another, more affordable school, before transferring to one of the big names is more common than you would think.
How to Transfer Colleges: A Step by Step Guide
Step 1: Determine Why You Want to Transfer
The very first step of transferring colleges is determining why you want to transfer in the first place. This will help you determine if transferring is actually worth it and if it is, what you need to look for in a new school.
If you are thinking about transferring because your classes are difficult and you are struggling, that isn’t likely to change at a new college and you may just need a break instead. On the other hand, if you want to transfer because you need more affordability, a better location, prestige, or even just a change in your life, then transferring may be a good option for you.
Be sure to really consider if this is what you want to do before going through with it, as transferring is quite the process and it would be frustrating to go through it multiple times.
Step 2: Begin Searching for Schools
Once you have determined the reason you want to transfer, you will need to start searching for schools. While the process may be tedious, it is good to search for schools that not only suit your degree plan, but also your life situation. If you are transferring for financial reasons, be sure to double-check not only the tuition for your program but all of the other incurred expenses.
While it may seem easier to pick one or two schools and end your search, it is better to be prepared. Compile a list of as many schools as you can that suit your needs and think about them for a while before choosing your favorites. It is recommended to apply to as many as possible to ensure enrollment.
Step 3: Meet with Your Advisor
Before applying to schools or anything else, schedule a meeting with your academic advisor. If you don’t have one, you can find plenty to meet with through your school or one of your potential transfer schools. Remember, advisors are your best asset when making big changes like this one.
Meeting with an advisor is the best way to figure out everything you will need to know about how your credits will transfer, what financial aid you can receive, and how to apply to your chosen schools. Some schools are picky about what credits and how many they will accept, and others make it difficult to carry over your financial aid.
Advisors will likely have more information than you as they are experienced in this and can help you decide which schools to apply to and show you how.
Step 4: Apply to Schools
Applying to schools is the last step until you are accepted into your program. Most applications will require your transcripts, a written essay, an interview with an academic officer at the new school, letters of recommendation, and sometimes your ACT or SAT scores. All schools are different, so be sure you have verified with your advisor on the specific requirements for your applications.
Is it Worth it to Transfer Schools?
If transferring schools is going to benefit your life in any way, it is absolutely worth it to transfer. Whatever your reason is, the chances of your life becoming better after transferring are high.
Though the process may be annoying and take a while, you will be in a better place academically and mentally once you are starting in your new school, and really, that is all you can ask for.