Special Circumstances

The Basics on the College Transfer Process

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IF, after you have endured a semester and you still feel that this college is NOT for you for good reasons, then perhaps you should consider pursuing a transfer admissions process.

Are you having trouble adjusting to college? Do you think you made a mistake choosing the college that you did? Are you thinking about leaving and going home? Hey, wait. Not so fast! Do not make a hasty decision which might end up being a big mistake. Give it some time!

Did you know that you probably are not alone in feeling miserable during the first few months away at college? It is quite common for freshmen to experience some adjustment problems early in their college experience. After all, change is difficult and stressful for many people, but time does usually cure most adjustment issues. Once you get involved in campus activities, become friends with several new people, participate in classes taught by engaging and mind-blowing professors, your feelings of unhappiness and dissatisfaction with your new life will fade away and be replaced with feelings of contentment and joy for most students.

However, IF, after you have endured a semester and you still feel that this college is NOT for you for good reasons, then perhaps you should consider pursuing a transfer admissions process. You should give your decision careful thought and thorough consideration because the process is not easy and for most students the transition to a different college is quite difficult.

Here are some guidelines to consider when undertaking the college transfer process.

Steps to Take in the College Transfer Process

Keep your grades up! Transfer applicants are judged primarily on their academic record, unlike freshman applicants who are evaluated on their potential for college success. Remember this: The higher your grades in your college classes, the better your chances to get admitted as a transfer applicant.

 

Seek professional guidance. Meet with your academic dean, favorite college professor, and perhaps an admissions officer with whom you established a relationship when you were applying to your present college. Share your feelings with such people and process your thoughts. By talking to them, you might get a better insight into why you are not happy on campus. In this way, you might identify the characteristics in another college that are critical for you to have a good fit. These trained professionals might be able to recommend schools to you that better match your needs.

Do your homework— research the colleges! Just as you did when you originally selected your colleges, you need to decide on your own selection criteria. If your decision to transfer is based on a distinct and compelling reason, then you should truly know now what you are really looking for in a particular college. You need to make sure that your transfer college can meet your selection criteria. Don’t make the same mistake twice when selecting your transfer school

Contact the Transfer Coordinator at each of the schools you are considering. You need to know each college’s requirements regarding transfers. Get answers to the following questions:

  • Is there a minimum GPA required?
  • What is the average test score expected for transfers?
  • How many transfer students will be admitted and when?
  • What documentation is needed as part of the transfer application?
  • How many credits will transfer that you have already earned?
  • When is the deadline to submit your transfer application?
  • What are the housing options for transfer students?
  • Will financial aid be available?

Contact the Registrar at both your high school and current college. Request that an official transcript from each be mailed to the colleges you are considering as your transfer schools.

Request a letter of recommendation from your college instructor(s). It is essential that the professor who will be writing this letter of support knows you well and can document your ability to succeed at college-level study.

Interview at each school that you are considering as your transfer college. Make sure you can relate the reasons for transfer in a positive way. Point out in each interview the characteristics of the college that you want in the new college but at the same time be positive about your current college.

Complete accurately and fully each Transfer Application. Submit your application long before the required deadline for transfer applicants because many colleges employ a rolling admissions process for transfers, meaning they review applications as they get them. You don’t want them to accept the early birds and miss out on one of those limited slots!

Wait patiently. Unlike freshman applications, there is no set time frame when decision letters for transfers are sent out from the admissions office.

After you receive your letter of acceptance, congratulate yourself for a job well done and start enjoying your new college experience!