A Student’s Guide to Transferring Colleges

A Student’s Guide to Transferring Colleges image 1 (name IMG A Students Guide to Transferring Colleges)

Sometimes, our plans for college don’t pan out the way we expect them to. Thankfully, if you find yourself in a situation where the college you’re currently attending isn’t the right fit for you, you have the option to transfer to another school. It’s not unusual for a student to decide to transfer—in fact, I went through the transfer process. Some of the more common reasons include:

  • Dissatisfaction with the academic program at your current school
  • Financial difficulties or cost of tuition
  • Personal reasons, such as feeling like the social or cultural environment isn’t the right fit
  • Health reasons
  • Change of major

Transferring can sometimes be a bit tricky, so there are some things you should consider before switching schools. Do your research and work with your academic advisor to understand what you need to do for a smooth transfer. You’ll want to get information on the following before transferring:

  • Transfer requirements. Find out what you need to transfer to the new school you are considering attending. Depending on the college, you will likely be required to have a minimum GPA, have completed some specific courses, or have a certain number of transferable credits.
  • Credits. Find out how many of your current college credits will transfer to your new school. Some colleges may not accept every credit you’ve earned, which could impact your graduation timeline. I had to repeat a foreign language course at my new school because the curriculum didn’t align with what was offered at my old school. Don’t be discouraged if this happens to you—but know it means you will have to retake a course.
  • Financial aid. Talk to your new college’s financial aid office to see if you are eligible for any scholarships or grants.
  • Housing. Check out the housing options for transfer students if you plan to live on campus or need to move closer. Some colleges have specific housing for transfer students, while others may require you to find off-campus housing.
  • Application deadlines. Look up the application deadline for transfer students—it may be different than the deadline for first-year students.

Once you officially transfer, start off strong by attending the transfer orientation. It’s a great way to get acquainted with the college and meet fellow transfer students. Be sure to set up a meeting with your academic advisor to go over which credits transferred and create a plan to reach your academic goals. From there, you’ll be on track to college graduation—in a new environment that’s right for you.