5 Things To Know About Transferring Universities

So you’re thinking about transferring colleges. Maybe you’re graduating from a two-year school, or you just need a change of scenery. Whatever your reasoning, there are some things you should take into account before transferring to a new university. Keep reading for five things to do before making the switch.

1. Speak to Advisers, Consultants, and Students

When it comes to making big decisions, it’s always a good idea to talk to others first. You might receive some valuable advice on subjects you didn’t think to consider on your own. Additionally, you can gain insight and knowledge from others who are experienced in that area. This is no less true when transferring to a different university.

If you’re not sure which school to consider transferring to yet, a college admissions consultant can provide valuable assistance. These trained individuals work with you to create a student profile that outlines what you’re looking for and what you have to offer. They’ll get to know your preferences and, from there, craft a list of colleges that might be a good fit. They can also help you with admissions essays and preparation for interviews.

If you already have an idea of where you’d like to transfer, speak with advisors and students at that school. An advisor can share all the relevant details with you, like credit transfers and programs available. And talking to current students at the school will give you the nitty-gritty details that advisers won’t share. This could include any negative aspects hidden from the public eye, such as unpleasant student experiences or rude professors.

Gaining all this information could sway your decision. Make sure you talk to whomever you can to get these details before you’re stuck at another college you won’t enjoy.

2. Check Transfer Requirements

You might not be aware that many colleges have special requirements for transfer students. Knowing what these are and whether you qualify will determine whether you can even consider transferring to certain schools. Pretty much every college requires applicants to meet a particular grade point average for admittance, and they usually have one for transfer students, too. This GPA might be higher than for freshman year applicants, so make sure yours meets the minimum requirement.

Many institutions also prefer that you have completed a certain amount of college education before transferring. For most, this is at least a full academic year, or around 24 credit hours. Therefore, you might have to finish another semester before you can make the switch. If you need to raise your GPA, you can use this extra time to your advantage.

In addition, some universities require letters of recommendation to consider accepting you as a transfer student. You’ll need to acquire these from trustworthy sources, such as an adviser, professor, or employer.

When looking for a transfer school, make sure to check these extra requirements. Otherwise, you might be taken by surprise or have to remove a school from your list of possible schools.

3. Be Aware of Credit Transfer Policies

Not all transitions go smoothly, especially when it comes to transferring college credits. Some institutions are quite picky about which credits they accept.

Sometimes a university won’t accept another’s class credits because there is no version of the course at your new institution. For example, if you take an Intro to Literature course at your previous school, this class might not exist at your transfer school. Therefore, the new school might not transfer over those credit hours. Some universities will transfer these as miscellaneous general education credits, but you’ll have to check.

Credits must also reach a sufficiently high grade to be eligible for transfer. Most colleges require at least a C, or 70%-79%, per transferred course credit. Some might let a D, or 60%-69%, slide, but this is usually the exception and not the rule.

Moreover, many colleges won’t accept a high number of credit hours. After all, that would mean you’d completed the majority of your education at another institution. This amount is usually around 90 credit hours maximum for a bachelor’s degree transfer. Therefore, this might take you out of the running for transferring, unless you’re switching degree programs.

4. Pay Attention to Finances

Every institution has its own costs per credit hour and for fees. If you’re trying to stay in the same price range, pay attention to these rates. Investigating tuition costs and speaking to a financial aid adviser are essential steps before transferring.

Not only do credit hour prices vary among schools, but special fees such as club and required course fees may as well. Be aware that if you’re transferring to an out-of-state university, your credit hour rate will be higher than an in-state student’s. You’ll need to make sure you’re aware of these price differences.

Furthermore, if you have student loans, you’ll have to talk with your loan provider. Not all servicers allow funds to switch over to new schools. You might also have to resubmit your FAFSA form for the academic year. The financial aspect can get complicated, so you should get a thorough breakdown of how this works from your loan provider.

5. Investigate Campus Culture

Every college has its own atmosphere and on-campus culture. This might depend on what part of the country or state it’s located in, or whether it’s public or private. If you’re concerned about fitting in, make sure you do some digging before transferring.

To get a good understanding of a particular campus’s culture, go on a campus visit. You’ll be able to walk its sidewalks and halls, experiencing its aura. While you’re there, make a point of speaking with current students and seeing whether there are people like you.

You can also accomplish this by meeting with student organization leaders to determine if there’s an extracurricular you’d like to join. Whether a school has opportunities for you to pursue your interests and make friends could sway your decision.

Be Thorough

Before transferring to a new university, you need to be thorough in your research. Understanding the school’s expectations, financial requirements, and culture could all determine your decision to attend. Speak with everyone you can and scour catalogs and websites. Happy hunting, and good luck!