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Applications for Transfers: Four Simple Tips

by Carol Barash, PhD, on Feb 13, 2014 10:26:00 AM

Trying to transfer from one college or university to another? Want to finish at a different college, but not sure how to make it happen? The good news: transfer applications are generally more straightforward than first-time applications. But transfer applications are also more competitive.

Here are four steps to simplify your transfer application process:

1. The first thing to consider is what college admission offices call “fit.” To figure out where you are a good fit and a strong transfer applicant, research each of the schools you are considering:

  • Do you have strong test scores and grades for that college? Are you among the top 20% of the applicant pool?
  • Have you completed all the requirements for transferring to the school?
  • Will all your credits transfer, or will you need to take some courses again?
  • Which specific majors or programs are you applying to, and do you have both the prerequisites and the experience to thrive in those programs?

If you can answer YES to all of those questions, then the school may be a good target school for you to transfer.

2. When you are transferring, your college record is more important than your high school record. Does your college record show that you are a strong candidate—stronger than someone still in high school?

  • Have you taken challenging courses at the college you are attending now?
  • Have you gotten top grades in them?
  • Do they fit with the major you are applying to?
  • Do your college professors know you well enough to write you letters of recommendation?

If you are applying to schools and programs where you are a good fit, and your college record expands and enhances your high school credentials, then consider whether it’s a good college for you!

3. Make sure to check practical matters like money and special programs:

  • Will your federal and state financial aid transfer to your new college?
  • Will you lose time or money in the transfer process?
  • What kind of financial aid options does the school have for transfer students?
  • Do transfer students have access to special programs, such as study abroad, work-study, and internship programs?

Once you’ve found colleges where you are a strong candidate and a good fit, use the application essays—which are different from the questions for students applying from high school—to show colleges who you are and what difference it will make to have you as a member of their community.

4. When you are writing your transfer application essays, you want to show what you have already done in college—either in a community college or another four-year college—to make a case for what you will do and achieve at the new college:

  • Don’t recycle your high school essays! Show who you are now, who you will be and what you will contribute at your new college.
  • Find moments from your college experience that reveal how you will make a difference at the college to which you want to transfer.
  • Make sure that your essays are your best quality writing, since more is expected of someone who has already spent time in college.

Today’s post brings back one of my favorites from the archives: a clear 4-step approach to transfer applications. It was first hosted by Chegg. Read the original here.

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Topics:college admission