Hi, friends! You may not know this, but I’m a transfer student. I decided to write a post about my transfer experience and tips for prospective transfer students because I haven’t seen many posts about transferring. However, I did find 2 helpful articles for those who are interested (they are linked at the end of this post!). Transferring schools can be both exciting and nerve racking. The application process and getting settled into a new school is work, but if you approach it in a timely and organized manner, you will be just fine. Here is my personal transfer experience and some tips for those who are considering transferring schools.
My Transfer Experience
I graduated high school at only 17 years old. Because I was so young, my parents didn’t want me to go away just yet. So, I decided to attend a community college (I already had some credits there thanks to dual enrollment!) and earn an AA to then continue to a state university. I was there for a year, and it was a great year. I am thankful for my experience at that school because it allowed me to start gaining experience in STEM at such a young age. I did well in my classes and it was comfortable…Are you a transfer student or interested in transferring? Here are a few ways to make the process easier. Click To Tweet
After that year, I felt it was time for a change. One day, I decided to apply to a four year university in my city. When I decided to apply, the deadline was already around the corner, so the application process was unnecessarily stressful for me. I had to compile a bunch of documents, write essays, and recruit professors to write recommendations for me within just a few weeks. I was able to submit everything on time only because I was so organized about it. I had a list of all the documents required and the dates they were due. That list was my lifeline when I was putting together my application. Thankfully, before the semester ended, I got the acceptance letter!
Because the biology program at my new school is so intense and rigorous, I have to graduate a year later. I’m okay with this though, because I graduated high school early. In other words, I’ll be graduating college at age 22, the same age everyone else typically graduates. Also, my new school is a much longer drive away. The drive was particularly exhausting during my first semester. Other than that, the transfer experience was smooth. I am happy at my new school.
Although I am thankful to my original school because I learned a lot there, I’m glad I chose to transfer schools because I got the opportunity to work in a lab at my new school and I am being challenged academically.
Tips: Before You Apply to Transfer Schools
- Check the school’s website. Different schools have different transfer policies. I’ve read about schools that don’t accept transfers after their sophomore year, during the spring, or don’t accept transfers period. Be sure you know what the policy for your desired school is.
- Be aware that some schools may not accept all your credits, and this may delay your graduation.
- Be organized. Just as in a freshman application, you need to be organized when applying to transfer. You need to keep track of due dates and statuses of forms and recommendation letters. I’d recommend making a list of required documents and their due dates. It’ll be a life saver, especially if you’re applying to multiple schools.
- Give yourself plenty of time. If you’re considering transferring, check out your options ASAP. It can make a real difference in your application if you do it with time and not throw it together at the last minute. Also, don’t leave writing the essays, asking for letters of recommendation, and requesting transcripts for the last minute.
After You Transfer Schools
- Make sure to transfer your financial aid to your new school. I don’t know how other states do it, but I had to go online to my scholarship’s website to change my aid to my new school.
- Meet with an advisor to see what credits your new school accepts. They will help you know which classes to take, too.
- Ask your advisor if there are any special advising rules for transfers. For example, because I am a transfer, I must see an advisor every semester.
- Attend orientation. I know you already went through orientation as a freshman, but since each school is different, it will be helpful to learn how your new school does things.
- Check out on-campus opportunities. You never know what opportunities will be available. Thank God that I stumbled upon the office of student research shortly after transferring. Because of them, I got the opportunity to work in the lab.
- Become a part of your new school’s student body. Proudly wear a hoodie with your new school’s name. Participate in on campus events. Join extracurricular activities. You’re part of them now!
Transferring schools is a significant decision. It requires work. You must do your research, take your time, and be organized. Still, if you feel that it’s the right thing for you, go for it, because it can definitely be rewarding.
- 11 Helpful Tips for College Transfer Students by Pammy Levinson from Society 19
- 6 Things to Think About Before You Transfer Colleges by Jazmine from Fairy Lights & Dreams
If you are a transfer student, please tell us about your transfer experience in the comments! Also, please share any additional tips you have for transfer students 🙂