How to Transfer Colleges the Right Way

Transferring college is extremely common. Over a third of students will transfer college at some point in their education goals. This could be from a two-year to a four-year institute, private to public, for-profit to non-profit, and any other combination.

Unfortunately transferring colleges also poses a big risk. Even the most successful transfer student is likely to lose 40% of their college credits or more!

What can you do to ensure your transfer is a success?

Transferring to a new college may be the right choice for you. Just make sure you plan ahead and advocate for yourself to avoid losing credits and financial aid.

Transferring to a new college may be the right choice for you. Just make sure you plan ahead and advocate for yourself to avoid losing credits and financial aid.

1. Plan Ahead

Students transfer colleges for many reasons, and sometimes it is not possible to plan ahead. However, if you have the chance, making it part of the plan from the beginning will best ensure your success in transferring.

One of the most common plans students make is to start at a community college to save money, and then transfer into a nearby public or private school to complete a bachelor's degree.

35% of all students change from a community college to another institution to obtain a four-year degree. An estimated 62% of those transfers were among public schools, who count on transfer students to fill their classes and augment the curriculum.

Look specifically for transfer articulation agreements between two colleges, which will ensure that your credits transfer over and you will receive ample credit for work already done. Read the school’s website and make an appointment to talk to your target school’s advisor about transferring-in to obtain your bachelor’s degree. 

2. Keep Your Grades Up

Get a high GPA—2.5 or higher—in these foundation classes and furthering your studies will be less taxing. Taking English, Math and Science at a smaller school will enable you and your parents to save money by having you live at home when those funds can be put toward your higher education at a later time.

Avoid taking too many heavy-load, time-intensive majors in one semester as this could bring your GPA down. Pepper in some electives that will be interesting and fast.

Need to earn extra credits? Think about going to college in the summer term. Often you can take some required classes in 10 weeks versus a longer semester of 16 weeks.

3. Choose the Right School

Whether it was part of the plan from the beginning, or your just looking for a school that is better suited to you, choosing the right institution to finish your degree is crucial.

Not only do you want a school that is in the right location, offers the right programs, and is affordable, you'll also want a school that will work with you on your credits.

We suggest taking time to explore your college options through College Factual's free college match service. The more time you take to choose a school that has everything you're looking for, the less likely it will be that you will need to transfer a second time.

4. Forward Your Transcript

Many students lose credits by simply not even bothering to try to transfer them! Don't let this be you.

Let the school know about your intentions, send them your transcript, ask to meet with an advisor, and if your credits are denied ask for an appeal! Your persistence in asking for another look may be all it takes for the school to accept your credits.

Staying in school is the task and following through on your education is the goal. By using all the resources available, you will be the student with the bachelor’s degree in a timely manner.

Get started finding the right college and major for you!