How To: Transfer Colleges

The basics on switching to a new university or college.

Interested in transferring to a new college or university but don't know where to begin? You don't have to start your college search from scratch. You've got a head start on knowing about financial aid, majors and more. Here are a few more things to consider that can help you find a college environment that's perfect for you:

Why Do You Want to Transfer Schools?

Transferring colleges is not uncommon, but make sure you're moving for the right reasons. Think carefully about your motivation and base your decision to transfer to a new college or university on academics and your future career goals.

Get a College Admission Guide

There are college admissions counselors specifically designated for transfer students who act as advisers through the transfer process and can answer your questions about the school you're hoping to attend. Find out what you should be asking your admission counselor. 

Schedule a Campus Tour

Getting to know a college or university's campus can make or break your decision. Besides getting the lay of the land, you can check out a school's majors and programs, meet current students, and talk with representatives from academic departments or advisers while you're on campus. "Take time to visit campus while classes are in session to get a feel for student life," says Kyle Strothmann, an admission counselor at Saint Louis University who specializes in transfer students. Find out more about what to ask on campus tours

Research College Requirements 

Documents that are required for transfer admission vary, but most colleges require you to submit ACT/SAT scores, high school transcripts and transcripts from previous colleges that were attended. Depending on the college or university, you may also have to submit a resume, personal statement or essay. Find out more about the college admission process

Get Credit

Worried that certain courses might not transfer to your new school? You aren't alone. "The most common question is 'How many of my credits will transfer to SLU,'" says Matt Schutte, a SLU transfer admissions counselor. "And the answer is usually, 'Most of them!'"

Keep in mind that most schools only accept previous course work from accredited colleges or universities. Also, be sure to check if there are specific grade requirements for transferring courses. Your new admission counselor will know for sure. 

Explore Scholarships

Check out what scholarships and financial aid packages are offered for transfer students and apply for them on time. Don't forget to update your financial information for the new year; it could result in more tuition assistance. Get more information on financial aid for undergraduates. 

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