what to look for as a transfer student

Researching the Best Colleges and Universities for Transfer Students

5 Must-Ask Questions for Transfer Students

Transferring to a new college or university is more common than you might think. In fact, over two million college students transferred institutions during the 2020-2021 academic year, according to a new report. At University of Bridgeport, transfer students are a major component of UB’s total student population.

Transferring colleges or universities is not a decision you should make lightly. There are a lot of factors to consider when looking for the best colleges for transfer students.

If you’re exploring the process of transferring, and seeking the best college or university to transfer into, be sure to ask yourself the following questions as you look for your new school:

#1: Why do you want to transfer?

There are many reasons why transfer students decide to change schools. It could be as straightforward as realizing your current college or university doesn’t meet your academic and social needs or your career goals. Maybe your school is in the middle of nowhere and you would prefer to be in a busy metropolitan area. Or, you chose a two-year college to complete your basic courses and you are now ready to complete your degree elsewhere. All of these are legitimate reasons for transferring, but be sure you know why you are choosing to do so. Your answers will help guide you as you begin to search for a new school.

#2: Where do you want to transfer?

Once you determine why you are transferring, you can determine where the best schools to transfer to are located. Start by researching the programs you are interested in and the colleges that offer those specific programs. How much financial aid do they offer transfer students? What about career development or tutoring services? Once you find your prospective school (or schools!), reach out to their admissions office and see if you qualify to be a transfer student.

#3: When should I transfer?

Thankfully, there is no right or wrong time to transfer to a new college. However, the time at which you transfer will determine what your prospective school looks at.

For example, at University of Bridgeport, students only need 12 credits in 100 level courses or higher – with grades of C or better – to be considered transfer students. So, if your high school grades aren’t so stellar, taking 12 transfer credits is an excellent way to hit the reset button.

Furthermore, make sure you know when your school admits transfer students. University of Bridgeport accepts students in fall, spring, and summer for most programs. Ensure that your school’s start terms are flexible enough to meet your needs.

#4: Do I qualify to be a transfer student?

This isn’t a one size fits all question as each school has its own unique and specific criteria for its transfer students. Transferring into highly selective and top-ranked colleges can be especially challenging as they typically have high retention rates and thus, fewer open slots. As you research the best colleges for transfer students, reach out directly to the admissions office and have them walk you through not only the process of applying but also the minimum standards you’ll need to meet in order to qualify.

Now that you’ve asked yourself why you are transferring and researched your prospective schools, you can finally answer the question every transfer student asks:

#5: What is the transfer student process?

Once you’ve chosen the best college for you, and you have spoken to the admissions office, you should take the first step and fill out the application. Then, contact your current school’s registrar’s office and have your college transcripts sent to your new school’s admissions office. Note that if you’ve attended more than one college, you’ll need to do this with all of your previous schools’ registrar’s offices.

While admission requirements vary, most schools require proof of high school graduation, all college transcripts, and sometimes personal essays or letters of recommendation.

Lastly, be sure to find out if you can also apply for any financial aid through the school like transfer scholarships or by completing the FAFSA. You can also look into scholarship programs from private organizations or merit aid scholarships specifically for students transferring to four-year institutions.

The most important thing to know is that the process of finding the best colleges to transfer to doesn’t have to be hard. The process can even be relatively stress-free, as long as you ask yourself these questions and do your research.

Learn more about the process of transferring colleges here.

Bonus Question: How Can I Find the Best College or University to Transfer Into?

The best colleges and universities will offer transfer students an array of academic support services, as well as maintain a strong reputation and program roster for potential students. As you research the best possible institution for you, look for features such as:


Accreditation is a tell-tale sign that a college or university is reputable and credible. It means that the school has undergone an evaluation, from a third-party accrediting body, and met certain standards of excellence in relation to their faculty, program quality, and student success rates. By choosing a school that is accredited, you can ensure you are choosing a top-quality institution that can set you up for long-term success. Attending an accredited college or university is also a requirement to qualify for federal financial aid, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

Financial Aid Options:

As a transfer student, it is important to find a school that also offers options for financial aid. The best institution for you will offer a range of financial support in the form of grants, scholarships, student loans, and even work study options to help you cover the costs of education.

A Diversity of Program Offerings:

More than likely, you know what you want to do in your future career. In fact, this may be the reason you are transferring into a new school: to pursue a program in line with your career goals. As a result, it is important to assure that the institution you’re considering offers a program, or programs, that align with your interests and goals. The best universities to transfer to offer a wide range of program offerings for transfer students.

Expert Faculty:

When choosing the best college or university to transfer to, one thing to research is their faculty. You deserve to learn from the best- leaders in your field. Once you know the program you want to pursue, take time to research or even speak with faculty in that program of study at your prospective school. Do they have direct experience in the field? At University of Bridgeport, faculty members are leaders in their industry, bringing a diverse body of knowledge, experiences, approaches, and specialties into the classroom.


With the majority of college students having to maintain a job, flexibility is an important quality to look for when researching prospective schools to transfer to. Seek an institution that offers classes that work with your scheduling, or that is willing to meet you where you are in your educational journey. The best colleges and universities for transfer students will offer a range of online classes and accelerated program options to help meet your individual needs.

Support for Transfer Students:

Student support services are an essential resource that the best colleges will offer to their transfer students. As you consider the best schools for you, take stock of their student services like tutoring, counseling services, academic advising, career planning, and more. Read about UB’s student support services here.

At UB, we pride ourselves on wanting to help each and every student as much as we can. If you are thinking of transferring or even applying to college for the first time, don’t hesitate to reach out to our admissions office for information, guidance, and support.

We are here to help you every step of the way!

Learn More About Transferring to University of Bridgeport

The University of Bridgeport is a recognized institution in Connecticut, known for its ability to guide and support the success of its students as they strive through to graduation and on to the next phase of their lives and careers. If you think UB might be the best school for you to transfer to, reach out to an admissions specialist today.