Frequently Asked Questions

College Transfer

How Do I Write a Transfer Essay? (video)

You should definitely use your transfer essay for multiple schools! Writing a solid essay with some interchangeable sections is a sound plan, especially if you’re applying to more than a few colleges or universities. Always review your essay to make sure it fits with the given prompt, customize it for each individual school, and submit!

How Do I Transfer Student Loans? (video)

Private student loans do not follow you when you transfer schools. If you’re switching mid-semester, be sure to call your lender to see how you need to handle your loans. More often than not, they’ll simply cut your loan in half and you’ll have to separately re-apply for a loan at your new school. If you’re switching colleges at the end of the school year, you’ll apply for private student loans as normal, just with your new institution information.

Why Would A College Accept More Transfer Students? (video)

Transfer students present their college grades when applying, which is considered an even better alternative to your SAT and ACT test scores to assess college readiness — it shows that you are, in fact, able to complete and succeed in college-level courses.

How Many Colleges Should I Apply to as a Transfer Student? (video)

Really, you should treat the transfer application process the same as the initial freshman application process. You should apply to multiple schools. Considering this can be difficult while taking on a full college course load, applying to at least three schools is recommended. If you can afford both time and money to apply to five, that would be an ideal number. You’ll want to apply to safety, reach, and match schools.

Can I Transfer After One Semester? (video)

Sure! But the admissions process will look a lot more like entering the new college as an incoming freshman. They’ll look most closely at your standardized test scores and high school grades, the same as they would had you entered as a freshman. Note that some schools require you to have a minimum number of transfer credits before applying, so do your homework!

Can I Transfer and Still Graduate in Four Years?

There’s really no way to guarantee graduation in the anticipated four years, but it’s 100% possible with accurate planning, hard work, and communication with your academic counselors. It will heavily depend on how many credits will transfer from your first school to the other, so don’t be afraid to ask for departments to review the classes you’ve taken to see if they’ll count towards your major.

How Can I Pick the Right School the Second Time Around?

Well, a first good step is figuring out exactly what you don’t like about your current college so you can figure out what you really want in the rest of your schooling. Whether that’s to be challenged more academically, to go to a larger college with more of a social scene, or to find a well-connected university for better job prospects after you graduate, you just need to determine what you’re really looking for.

How Do I Know All My Credits Will Transfer?

You’ll only be able to figure that out through some investigation. You’ll want to work with both the transfer counselor at your current school and the transfer counselor at schools you’re interested in. Odds are, not all of your credits will transfer but, with any luck, a majority of them should. You can also take competency tests, like the CLEP and DSST, to prove that you have a working understanding of subjects, as well.

What Are CLEP Exams?

There are 34 CLEP exams and they cover intro-level material — so basically what you’d find in GenEd courses. If you have experience through work or a credit doesn’t transfer but you took the class, the CLEP can help you earn the credit for it. However, if you took a CLEP test to gain credit at your current school, it’s unlikely that your transfer school will accept that credit.

Can I Apply to Colleges I was Previously Rejected From?

Of course! Especially if you have good grades from your first year of college, it’s all the more reason for them to reconsider you. Showing solid success your first year of college, highlighting how you’ve participated, and more, can give you another chance at acceptance.

Am I Eligible for Financial Aid as a Transfer Student?

Yes! There are scholarships specifically for transfer students, as well as any scholarship applicable to college students should work as well. You can fill out the FAFSA the same as you would for any other school.

Are There Scholarships Available for Transfer Students?

Yes! There are scholarships that are specifically geared towards transfer students, such as (shameless plug) the one we offer here at Appily, our Transfer Scholarship. You can also apply to almost any scholarship geared towards college students and be eligible, as well. Just because it doesn’t specifically say “transfer student” doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t apply. As long as you’re enrolled at an institution, you should submit an application!

How Much Does it Cost to Transfer Colleges?

Depending on the circumstances, it can be expensive. The actual act of transferring itself, applying and submitting forms, can add up. The average college application can cost between $40 and $90 dollars to submit, while supporting documents can cost anywhere between $10 and $45 dollars. The rest of the cost may come in the form of tuition, depending on any scholarships you received from your first school, whether it’s public or private, in-state or out.

How Many Credits Can I Transfer?

This is going to vary widely. Each school has their own requirements, and you’ll find that you have to complete a certain number of credits at the college or university to have their name on your degree. On average, you’ll see that you can transfer between 60 and 90.

Would I Be Better Off Getting My AA and Then Transferring?

It depends on your degree and your intended transfer institution’s rules. Earning an associate’s degree makes it easier for colleges to ensure you transfer and maintain your junior standing.

What are "Pathway Programs" and Why Do I Want One?

Pathway Programs are the freshman orientation of the transfer world. They connect transfer students and often create support programs specifically for transfer students. Some colleges have special spaces to study, forums, and events for transfer students.

What is an Articulation Agreement?

Articulation agreements are agreements between two or more schools that make it easier to transfer. They’re known primarily for guaranteeing that credits transfer, but every articulation agreement is different so speak with your college advisor about ones specific to your institution.

If I’m admitted to a college, am I automatically admitted to my desired program, as well?

No! It’s good to address this distinction — just because you’re admitted to a college, doesn’t mean that you’re automatically admitted into the program. Many colleges will require you to apply for a specific program between the end of freshman year to junior year. Individual programs and departments also have different requirements, including a certain number of credits that need to be completed at school. Make sure you confirm the program acceptance, as well!

Are There Different Admissions Requirements for Transfer Students?

When it comes to things such as GPA, likely not, however they’ll be asking you for different forms, give you altered prompts for essays, and possibly require you to apply to your major along with general admission to the institution.

Can I Transfer With a Low GPA?

While it’s not out of the question, you may find it difficult to transfer with a low GPA. When coming into college from high school, they’re looking heavily at your standardized test scores, your ACT and SAT, to assess college readiness. When transferring colleges, they focus much more on your GPA, which tells them how you’ve actually performed at college, that thing they were trying to predict earlier. To explain a lower-than-desired GPA, you’ll want to put a significant amount of effort into your admission essay. If you can muscle through another semester entirely focused on raising your GPA, you may find it easier to transfer.

As a Transfer Student, Am I Guaranteed Housing?

It depends on the school. Many colleges and universities now offer guaranteed housing for transfer students, but not all of them. Make sure to broach the subject when talking to the advisor there.

Should I Talk to Other Transfer Students About Their Experience?

Never pass up on an opportunity to ask about another student’s experience. Some colleges have transfer orientations, just like they do for freshman, so that students make friends and feel comfortable. Some even provide special services just for transfer student success. Be sure to ask how it was assimilating as a transfer and if they ran into any issues.

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