Tips for applying as a transfer student

Transferring from one college to another can be a cumbersome and confusing process for some. However when you are considering transferring, there are many things you can do to make it a more simple and successful transition. Some tips to remember in preparation are: 1) Meet with your advisor at your current school. They would know about any transfer programs or agreements with other schools that can guide you. They could also help you know more about the admissions standards and application requirements. 2) Speak with an admission or transfer counselor at the school you are interested in attending. Many four year schools now have counselors or offices specifically for transfer students. 3) Do your homework by perusing the website and getting familiar with the programs and requirements, especially concerning the program that interests you. 4) Be prepared by collecting all of your documents, including transcripts and catalogs with course descriptions. 5) Make sure you complete your application to the school of your choice by the deadline!
Once admitted, your next step is to sign up for an Orientation Session and meet with an advisor to discuss your transfer credits and the requirements for your degree.


5 Responses

  1. I applied to a university as a transfer student for the fall 2010 term. The university requires me to send an updated transcript with Spring semester grades posted on them in order to review the application; however, I will not obtain a final official grade for Spring until mid June. Since transfer decisions are made by April and after April based on space available, would I still have a chance to be admitted in mid-June?

    • Assuming you are qualified based on your prior grades, most institutions that handle a large number of transfer students will go ahead and process a decision in the spring while they are still waiting for your final grades. As with freshmen, those offers are conditional on you completing your semester with a comparable record.
      Some schools really won’t take transfers with grades in progress (which is silly, since most have grades in progress if they are currently enrolled). That’s the least likely scenario.
      The other possiblity is that your grades so far don’t quite qualify you for admission, so they want to see the rest of your grades before making a decision. At most schools that means they want to see both how you finish and/or what kind of space they will have once they know their freshman class and returning student numbers, so it may help or hurt depending on where their number are.
      Ultimately you can’t know for sure, so as with everything in this completely confusing process, always wise to have a back up plan.

      • Thanks!

        That was really helpful.

  2. I have one more question regarding the transfer of grades. Once the college has received grades for the Spring semester, are they going to care if the student has grades in process for the Summer term?

    • generally summer grades work the same way – you will send the results once grades are posted, and need to follow up to make sure they recognize that you’ve sent a NEW transcript. As long as your grades in that class or those classes aren’t much different from your other grades it shouldn’t impact admission and credit transfer shouldn’t pose a problem. There are odd exceptions
      1) tracking systems for transcripts are quirky, often missing that transcripts with summer grades are NEW credits that weren’t listed before, so that may take some follow-up
      2) some really up tight schools may take the stance that any credit you take after admission (as opposed to in progress when admitted) is “study elsewhere” credit – credit taken at another institution WHILE enrolled at their school – and not transfer credit, so may require an additional layer of approval. At which point I would look for a more friendly institution, but that’s just me.

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