5 Tips for a Stress-Free Transfer Process
There are all kinds of reasons for transferring to a different college or university. Whether you’re coming from a community college or simply looking for a better fit, the transfer process looks different for each person. Your unique needs as a transfer student must be taken into account, and it can be stressful to make sure that all of the details are in order. Don’t get discouraged about pursuing your education elsewhere. A stress-free transfer process is about finding a better fit, building relationships, and being involved every step of the way – from submitting your application to enrolling in classes. These five tips will ensure that your transfer is a success!
1. Do your research. You want to make sure that the school is the best fit for you! Think about what’s important to you at a college or university. Things like academic programs and reputation, research opportunities, and campus community are all important factors in deciding where to transfer. Write down all of the reasons you’re transferring. Are you coming from another college or university where you were unhappy? Are you transferring from a community college with an associate degree and looking to pursue your bachelor’s degree? These reasons are all great ways to figure out exactly what you’re looking for at a different school.
2. Build a relationship with your admissions counselor. Most schools have a dedicated Transfer Admissions Counselor who will cater to your unique needs specifically. They will be able to help you determine what courses will transfer, explain your next steps in the transfer process, and help you prepare for a new journey at a new school – whether you plan to enroll in a day or online/evening program. Your counselor is a fantastic resource for all of your questions related to the admissions and enrollment process. They are there to make sure that your transition goes as smoothly as possible!
3. Understand your financial aid. You’ve probably already done some smart financial planning, but it’s important to understand the ins and outs of your new financial aid package. If you’re transferring from a public school to a private school or vice versa, there may be a difference in your aid and award amounts. If you’re transferring from a community college or two-year school, you may be paying a little more than what you had been paying. Take advantage of any scholarship opportunities – some schools offer unique, transfer specific scholarships that can help offset costs. Don’t be afraid to ask about what options may be available to finance the rest of your education!
4. Visit campus. If you’re transferring and planning to live on campus, this is a great way to determine if it will be a good fit. Touring campus helps you become acclimated to a new environment, and helps you feel at ease on your first day as a student. Knowing where key buildings and offices are located will help relieve your anxiety about where to find things. When planning your visit, see if you can meet with professors in your department to discuss our intended program. This will help you decide if it would be a good academic match for you.
5. Get involved, but don’t get overwhelmed. As a transfer, you may feel an initial disconnect with the campus community. After all – there’s so much to experience! Build relationships with your professors and classmates. Get involved with a few organizations that suit your interests. Experience everything that your new school has to offer and take advantage of opportunities to pursue your passions. Stay on top of your studies, your social life, and your health by prioritizing your time well.
Most importantly, give yourself plenty of time to get adjusted at your new school. No college or university is perfect. A new environment brings new and different experiences that can be challenging in multiple ways. After all, you have made a significant investment in your future, and that can feel risky after making a significant transition. Eventually, you will stop thinking of yourself as a transfer student, and simply just as a proud student!