BY LORRAINE McKINNEY
At the beginning of the school year, most colleges tend to be focused on the new students coming out of high schools. But, there are also plenty of second and third-year students who are new because they are transferring from other colleges. If you are a transfer student, there are a lot of things you will need to know, but may not necessarily find out from your new college because they are busy concentrating on first-year students. Here are 10 things that you need to know when transferring to a different college.
- Your Grades
Often, it is difficult to transfer to a new college if you do not have good grades. Over 90 percent of all colleges consider grades one of, if not the most important requirement for transfer students.
- Merit Scholarships
Many colleges offer merit scholarships to transfer students. Most of these colleges are smaller schools with less than 3,000 students, but there are many larger colleges that also offer this funding to deserving students who need it.
Just because you want to transfer to a certain college, it doesn’t mean that you are going to automatically get in because you have great grades. They simply may not have the room for you. Look for schools that are equipped to handle large numbers of transfer students.
- Admission Requirements
Before applying to a new school, you will need to look into the admission requirements. Look at the Common Data Set, which is a document that contains information about many schools, including admission requirements, transfer admissions, etc.
- Transferring Credits
Not all credits are transferrable with all colleges. If you want to keep the credits you already have, you will need to find a college that will let you transfer those credits. Find out by asking the college’s transfer credit evaluator to find out if your credits are transferrable.
- Be Positive
When you are interviewing at a new school, they are going to ask why you want to transfer. “Focus on the positive rather than on the negative. For instance, instead of saying you hate a certain program at your current school, tell them why you like the program they offer,” says a wellness practitioner from Radiance Aesthetics & Wellness.
- Apply on Time
Even if a school does accept transfer students and your credits will transfer, it doesn’t mean that you will get in if you don’t apply on time. You can’t apply at the last minute and expect to be accepted. You will need to have all of your ducks in a row, such as course transcripts, test scores, financial aid details, etc. when you apply.
- Look into Housing
You can’t just up and move to a new area for school without a place to live. Before being accepted, start looking around for potential housing. If you are accepted, you will know where there are good rentals available, roommates, etc. so you don’t end up with a space in the school but no space to live.
- Meet an Advisor
If you are truly serious about transferring, it is a good idea to talk with an advisor at the school you wish to transfer to. This not only shows that you are eager to study there, but it also gives you a chance to learn more about the school, health and stress management as a student, and more.
- Have a Plan
College admittance officers want to know that potential new students have good reasons for wanting to transfer. You need to have a plan in place to show them. It may be that the courses are better-geared to your career choice, you want to live closer to home, that there are better employment opportunities in the area, etc.
Lorraine McKinney is an academic tutor and elearning specialist.