There are many reasons why students transfer from one college to another such as location, cost,  or a change of major. If a college transfer is in your future, here are some tips to help the process go as smoothly as possible:

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Understand the difference between planned and unplanned transfers

Some students go into college knowing they’ll transfer eventually. Others don’t make the decision until they’ve spent a year or more in college. There are differences between planned and unplanned transfers you should consider before deciding to change schools. No matter what, seek the help of an academic advisor when making this decision.

When your transfer is planned:

  • All of your credits should transfer.
  • You may possibly lower the cost of your education.
  • You’re more likely to graduate and enter the workforce on time.

When your transfer is unplanned:

  • Some of your credits will not transfer.
  • You may have to retake some classes to meet requirements.
  • Your cost of education may increase.
  • It may take more years to get your degree, which will delay your entrance into the workforce.

Understand the college transfer process

Follow these steps to help ensure a successful transfer:

1. While at your first college, determine your aspirations and goals.

  • Consider a major or area of study.
  • Plan for an associate, bachelor’s or master’s degree.

2. Seek excellent academic advising.

  • Confirm that all classes will transfer.
  • Determine maximum transfer credit hours.
  • Discuss GPA requirements at the next school.
  • Utilize “transfer guides” found on college websites.

3. Apply for admission to the college where you’re transferring.

  • Provide college and high school transcripts.
  • Pay the application fee.

4. Apply for financial aid at the college where you’re transferring.

  • Complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).
  • Inquire about scholarships for transfer students.
  • Be aware that you can only receive financial aid from one school at a time.

5. The college you’re transferring to will review your transcripts.

  • Classes must match in:
    • Academic rigor
    • Course content
    • Requirements for the program of study
    • Sequence of courses (in correct order)

Transferring schools can be a complicated process, but if you follow these tips and work closely with your advisor, the move to your new college will go much smoother.