How to Transfer Colleges: A Mini-Guide for Transfer Students

how to transfer universities

There are a number of reasons why a student might choose to transfer schools. Whether you’re transferring from a two-year to a four-year program, or you’re interested in pursuing a different major in a new environment, the process of switching schools can seem daunting. It may be a relief to learn that nearly one-third of college students transfer schools before they complete their degree. You’re far from alone! Additionally, three-quarters of administrators agree that students who transfer from one school to another perform just as well, if not better, than students who stay at one institution for the duration of their education. If you find yourself wondering exactly how to transfer colleges or universities, there’s no need to fret. Here’s an easy-to-follow guide to the transferring process.

Decide Where You Want to Transfer

Before you can begin the transfer process, you should decide where you want to transfer. First, assess why you want to transfer schools. Do you dislike the location? Are you not receiving enough academic support? Do you want more diversity in your campus? Are your academic and social needs being met? These are just a few questions to explore as you figure out what criteria your dream school should meet. You should then choose your future school by researching what programs they offer, where they’re located, how much financial aid they offer transfer students, and whether or not they offer career development or tutoring services. If your prospective school hits all the high points, reach out to their admissions office to find out if you qualify to be a transfer student.

Do You Qualify to Be a Transfer Student?

Every school has their own, specific criteria for what it takes to be a transfer student. When researching how to transfer colleges, it will be useful to reach out directly to your prospective school’s admissions office. Some schools require a minimum GPA or specific test scores (e.g. the SAT). An admissions officer will be able to walk you through the process of applying as well as the minimum standards you’ll need to fit in order to qualify.

Is There a “Right” Time to Transfer?

The good news is, there isn’t really a right or wrong time in your education to transfer schools. If you’ve only completed one year of your college education, your prospective school may weigh your high school transcripts and test scores more heavily. However, it’s important to note that if you wait to transfer until after your junior year, some of your degree-specific courses might not transfer, meaning you’ll be graduating a little later than you originally anticipated. It’s also important to note that most schools only allow students to matriculate during the Fall. It may be worth researching whether your prospective school offers Spring matriculation if you’re looking to transfer sooner, rather than later.

Steps to Make it Happen

After you’ve completed your research and spoken with the admissions office of your future school, you can begin the transfer process.

  1. Fill Out an Application

Every school requires their applicants to complete an application. Some schools may also ask that students complete the Common Application, as well.

  1. Submit College Transcripts

After you’ve filled out your application, you’ll need to get in touch with your current school’s registrar office and ask for your college transcripts to be mailed or scanned to your desired school’s admissions office. If you’ve attended more than one college, you’ll need to repeat this step with all of your previous institutions’ registrar’s offices.

  1. Obtain Proof of High School Graduation

Some colleges will not require a high school transcript, depending on how far along in your college career you are upon applying for a transfer. However, you should still be prepared to reach out to your high school to get copies of your high school transcripts if needed.

  1. Get Letters of Recommendation

Depending on the school you’re applying to transfer to, you may be asked to acquire between two and three letters of recommendation. These letters should come from former or current professors who are well acquainted with your academic work. If you’re applying to a pre-medical or nursing program, consider asking professors who are involved in the science or mathematics department of your current school.

  1. Write a Personal Statement

During your application process, you’ll likely be asked to write a personal statement. According to the National Association for College Admission Counseling, the personal statement is among one of the most important aspects of a student’s college application. While the topic is typically up to the student, the essay should give admissions counselors a glimpse into who you are as a student as well as a person.

  1. Find out What College Credits Will Transfer

The best way to find out whether your credits will transfer is to set up a meeting with an academic advisor. They’ll likely ask you to bring the syllabi of your previously completed courses so they can determine how they compare to the courses offered at your new school.

Transferring colleges doesn’t have to be scary. As long as you do your research and don’t hesitate to reach out to your future school’s admissions professionals, the process can be relatively stress-free. If all else fails, simply follow this guide and you won’t be left wondering how to transfer colleges, any longer.

Interested in transferring to University of Bridgeport? Contact us online to request more information about our programs!