Student transfer to new colleges for many reasons: stronger classes in a major; a better “fit” personally; to save money; to graduate from a more prestigious university.
Warning: Even if you’ve applied to and been accepted at the new college, stay enrolled in your current school and don’t burn any bridges there. Register for next term’s classes at your current school and keep your housing agreement in place. It’s easier to cancel classes and leases than it is to frantically try to sign up late.
Transferring successfully does involve some effort and planning, however, to avoid losing time and credits (not to mention financial aid). If you’ve decided it’s worth the effort, follow these steps:
Meet with my academic advisor in my current school.
Discuss the pros and cons of transferring and what you should do next.
Tip: Ask whether there is an articulation agreement with the school you're transferring to. These are formal agreements between two institutions detailing what classes one school will accept from another. An articulation agreement could streamline your transfer.
Contact an admissions counselor at the college I want to attend.
Larger schools may even have admissions specialists who specifically work with transfer students. Ask what steps that school requires.
Create a transfer plan with my counselor.
If you know early on what school and what department you will ultimately transfer to, this plan will spell out exactly what classes you need to take at your current school to transfer smoothly. Basic academic classes are more likely to transfer. Technical classes designed for certification in a field, remedial classes, and higher level, more specialized classes may not. Work with counselors in both schools to make sure you're taking the classes you need.
Warning: A class can transfer yet not count toward your degree. A university may require a speech class for graduation, for example, but not the interpersonal communications class you took instead of speech, even though it may accept the credits of the IP class.
Warning: Some institutions will only accept up to 60 credits from another school.
Appeal to the Admissions Office or Department if My Class Credits are Denied.
If a school doesn't accept a class, and you think it should, you can appeal. Bring documentation, such as a syllabus, objectives, and work, from the class you think should transfer.
Warning: Financial aid does NOT transfer. You'll need to reapply for financial aid.
Tip: Don't make any last-minute changes to your class load. A school could rescind your acceptance if, for example, you drop a class in your final semester.
Find out what the grade point average (GPA) requirements are for the school I want to transfer to
Sometimes, a college's admissions requirements are different from those of its departments. A university may require a 2.5 GPA for general admissions, for example, but its business department may require a 3.0. If you've already taken all the prerequisites for the business department, but fall short of the GPA requirement, you've run out of opportunities to improve your GPA.
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