Whether you are tired of your current college or simply want to move closer to your family, transferring to a new school is always an option. Although changing colleges takes planning, time and effort, it is possible to accomplish the task. Consider using the following guide to make the process easier.
Figure Out Why You Want to Transfer
The first step is to figure out exactly why you want to transfer to a different school. A study from the nonprofit National Student Clearinghouse Research Center found that 37.2% of college students change colleges at least once while they are studying. This means you are not alone if you want to go to a different school, but it is important to think about all the reasons for the change.
By creating a list of your reasons for the transfer, you will be able to think better and make the best decisions. Some of the most common explanations include wanting to be closer to family, not liking your current school or program and finding a better college that fits your personality and dreams.
Find the Best School
The second step may remind you of being back in high school as you search for the right school. Some of you may already know which college you want to transfer to, so you can skip the step. However, others may feel that their current school is wrong for them, but they do not know there to go next.
It is easy to feel overwhelmed as you look at many colleges. You may want to use an old-fashioned Excel spreadsheet or Google Sheets to organize the schools and categorize them. Make sure you visit the schools at the top of your list before making a choice.
Figure Out How to Transfer Credits
Even if you only lasted one semester at your current college, you do not want to lose the credits from the courses you finished. However, transferring credits to another school can be difficult. First, talk to your advisor and get help. They should know how the transfer process works and will be able to guide you.
Most schools accept original transcripts to check if you can transfer any credits. According to Maryville University, you usually need at least a C or a 2.0 in a class to receive credit. In addition, the courses you took must be similar to the ones at the other college. Your current school should be accredited, or the credits may not transfer.
Discuss Financial Aid
If you are receiving scholarships or financial aid at your current school, they may not automatically transfer to the new one. It is crucial that you figure things out before you make the change. You can start the process by looking at all of your current financial aid and listing the help that may come with you. For instance, if you received a scholarship from a nonprofit organization not affiliated with your school, then you may be able to take it with you to a new school.
It is a good idea to sit down and talk to a financial aid counselor at both your current and future colleges. Your current school can help you see what you can take with you and give you advice. Your new school can help you apply for different scholarships and determine the aid that is available.
Fill Out the Transfer Application
Keep in mind that the new college will have a transfer application deadline as you fill out the form. Most schools prefer to receive them by March or April if you want to attend in the fall. However, check with the school to find the exact date.
Today, colleges list everything you need for the transfer application online. The typical components are your college transcript and a form. You may also have to provide letters of recommendation from current college professors and advisors. Some schools also like to see your SAT or ACT scores from high school and high school transcripts.
Prepare to Leave
Some students cannot wait to leave their current schools and will not miss their classmates or professors. On the other hand, some students prefer to say goodbye and let people know they are transferring to another college. There is no right or wrong way to leave a school as long as you have followed the steps above. You may want to tell close friends, roommates and your favorite professors that you are leaving. Think of any organizations or clubs that may miss your presence and let them know, too.
Transferring to a new college can be a long process, but preparing ahead of time will make it easier. Use this guide as you tackle each step and keep your goals for the transfer in mind.