How to Make a Smart College Transfer

So you’ve decided it’s time to make a change, and you want to transfer to another college. Maybe you’re moving from community college to a university, or you’d like to pursue a major that’s only offered elsewhere. Whatever the reason, college transfers can be a rewarding, but frustrating experience. Here’s how to make the most of it.

Choose your new school carefully. Before you transfer to a new college, be sure that this is the one you want to stick with until graduation. You don’t want to have to transfer again and risk losing credits. Additionally, you should make sure that your new college will accept all or most of your current credits so that you don’t have to retake courses or test out of them. Many colleges have articulation or collaborative relationships established, which makes it easy to transfer your existing credits to a new school. If you have the option, choose to transfer to one of these schools for the easiest transition.

Know what you’re working with. You’ll need a copy of your official transcript to give to your new college. Look it over and make sure that you understand it. Talk to your current academic adviser if you have questions, and discuss your upcoming transfer. If you will be transferring in another semester in the future, your adviser may be able to help you choose courses that are likely to transfer when you’re ready. Keep in mind that your grade point average will not transfer, only credits.

Plan early with your new university. Make sure that you apply on time, sometimes up to a year before you plan to make the transfer. Don’t hesitate to contact your new schools advising office for help. They can offer special assistance in your transfer, and discuss which of your course credits will likely be transferred. Work together to create a plan of courses that will ensure you graduate within your desired timeline. You will also need to ensure that any financial aid you have set up will apply at your new school.

Transferring to a new college is a big step with its share of pitfalls. However, with advance planning and careful choices, you can ensure that your transfer experience is a good one. Follow these tips to create a smooth transition to your new academic career.

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