How to Successfully Transfer Colleges

How to Successfully Transfer Colleges
  • Opening Intro -

    Transferring from one college to another one is quite common with The New York Times reporting that 1 in 3 college students will transfer at some point as they pursue an academic degree.


That’s a huge number of students that may have decided that their initial college choice isn’t right for them or have finished community college and are now desiring to pursue a four-year degree.

Given that so many students do transfer, the process to make a change is usually straightforward. You’ll have some work to do to make it happen, but if you know what school you want to attend, the following will help you complete your transfer.

1. Check yourself. Your reasons for transferring may range from simply being unhappy with your school choice to desiring to finish college at a more prestigious school. The former reason you may be able to remedy by counseling, with a counselor able to help pinpoint what is troubling you. That doesn’t mean you won’t transfer, but good counsel can help smoothen your transition to a new school.

Some students choose to move on as they believe that another school is more prestigious or offers a better program than their current school. This may be true, but it could cost you credits when you make the switch. Know what you’re getting into before applying for a transfer. Some schools, such as Kalamazoo College, accept transfers for the fall semester only.

2. Get started. You know what school you want to transfer to, therefore contact that school about its admission policies. Identify yourself as a transfer student and ask what steps need to be taken to get approved for a transfer.

Your new school may want you to have completed a certain number of credits before transferring. Typically, there are more college freshman on campus than other students, but there could be seats available for sophomores. You’ll need to furnish a copy of your college transcripts and your new school may want to see your SAT scores. Expect to lose credits if you have grades lower than a “C” or have taken classes that cannot be accepted into the new program. Austin College, for instance, states that applicants who have earned a 3.00 or better GPA have a “particularly good chance of admission.”

3. Get recommendations. You can aid your case for transfer by receiving support from academians familiar with your work. College professors that know you and believe that you can benefit your new school are the ones most likely to offer a recommendation. You cannot expect unfailing support for your transfer, however, as educators prize their students and want to have a hand in your success. Nevertheless, if you explain your reasons for transferring, your professor may support your decision.

You can also seek a reference from your high school guidance counselor if one is needed. In addition, if you completed a work-study program or an internship, an employer recommendation may hold weight too.

4. Financial considerations. Transferring to a new college means that your financial considerations will change too. You’ll want to ensure that you receive whatever financial aid you have coming to you and, if you are receiving a college scholarship, that those funds can be applied to the new school too.

Ask your new school about financial assistance and what coverage is extended to transfer students. Some schools target students transferring in from a community college while others will gladly help needy students that transfer in for other reasons.

Transfer Considerations

Plan your transferring well in advance, making yourself aware of deadlines and meeting these with time to spare. If you need to arrange housing, you may find this step to be one of the most challenging of them all, especially at colleges where dorm space is limited.


The New York Times: College Students’ Transfer RateIs About 1 in 3 —

Kalamazoo College: Transfer —

Austin College: Transfer Students —

U.S. News: 4 Tips to Make Transferring Colleges Easier —

College Financing reference:

finding money for college guide

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