The Student’s Guide to Transferring

Brought to You by our Partners at College Ave Student Loans

Students transfer colleges for a variety of different reasons. Pursuing a different major, changing from a 2-year to 4-year institution, and finding a better social environment are all common reasons that students choose to change schools. Whatever the reason may be, there are certain steps that will make the entire process run much more smoothly.

Working with our partners at College Ave Student Loans, we surveyed a group of transferring students and got their input on how to make the most of the transfer experience. Keep reading to see what they shared.

Before You Transfer

Plan Ahead

Transferring isn’t something to just decide on a whim. Planning ahead will keep you organized, give you time to do your research, and will help you prepare for any unseen obstacles. Give yourself time to get everything in order.


Tour the Campus

One piece of advice that transfer veterans continue to emphasize? Tour your potential new campus before you make a decision! It’s important to really get a feel for the new place you’re headed and take it all in – in person.


Understand How Your Credits will Transfer

Give the admissions office a call and get a better understanding of how credits could transfer from your current school to the new one. Ask about the articulation agreement in order to find out which credits will transfer and how they will apply to your academic plan.

Some schools also have a transfer credit tool online, which allows you to see how your credits apply toward your transfer school’s requirements. Check out the transfer university’s website for more information.


Research Grants and Scholarships

First, you’ll want to confirm which of your current scholarships will remain intact. Though any funds given by your current school aren’t likely to transfer over, outside or private scholarship funds might. Give your scholarship provider a call and verify that you won’t be putting your eligibility in jeopardy by transferring. Once you’ve done that, call your potential new school’s financial aid office and find out what types of financial support they can offer. Some schools have scholarship opportunities specifically for incoming transfer students.

Some outside organizations offer scholarships for transfer students as well. If you plan to transfer from a 2-year institution to a 4-year institution, try getting started with the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation and the Pearson Scholarship for Higher Education. also has a great list of opportunities for transfer students.


Adjusting to Life on your New Campus

Go to Orientation

Just like they do for freshmen, most schools host an orientation for incoming transfer students. Soak up all the information your orientation leaders have to share and get yourself acquainted with the school. Ask about the different offices and organizations on campus so you know where to go with questions in the future.

Keep in mind – orientation doesn’t just give you the chance to learn about your new campus, it offers the opportunity to connect with your fellow transfers. Get face time with your peers early on and – who knows? – you might even make some new friends.


Get Involved

The best way to integrate yourself into campus is to really try to become a part of it. Join a student organization, apply for an on-campus job/work-study program, or attend campus social events. It’s easy to feel intimidated, but the more people you get to know and the more connected you feel, the better.


Talk to Friends Who Have Transferred

There is a good chance that you know someone who has transferred already. Use them as a resource. Find out what to expect, ask for advice, and get the inside scoop from someone who has been in your situation before. Ask how they became acclimated to their new campus and if there was anything in particular that they found most helpful.


Meet with an Advisor

Advisors are great resources for transfer and non-transfer students alike. Early on in the semester, set up time to meet with your academic advisor. Use their knowledge to make sure you’re on the right track with your course schedule and to plan for future semesters. They are there to help you succeed, so take advantage of the opportunity to pick their brains.

Have questions or want to share your own experience? Post a comment below!


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