thinking about transferring?

Posted : November 3, 2004
Last Updated : July 27, 2021

thinking about transferring?

Deciding to transfer is a very important decision to make during your college career. If you are thinking about transferring, here is some information you should know to get started on the process.

Why Transfer?

Students decide to transfer to different schools for various reasons. If you are thinking about transferring, you need to make sure you would be doing it for the right reasons. Don't transfer to a different school just because you don't like your current roommate. You need to have a valid reason for transferring such as:

  • You want to move from a two-year college to a four-year college.
  • You want to switch to a major that your current school doesn't offer.
  • You need to switch colleges to accommodate changing financial needs.

These are just a few legitimate reasons for transferring. If you think you have a justifiable reason for changing schools, discuss it with your parents or advisor to see if they think it's a valid reason. You don't want to go through the hassle of transferring if you don't have to.

Choosing a Transfer School

If you decide that transferring is your best option, you need to choose a transfer school. There are thousands of schools from which to choose so this may seem like an overwhelming task. Don't get discouraged. You have already been through the process of choosing a school once and now you know what you really want from a school. Consider why you are transferring in the first place and that should help you narrow down your choices. For instance, if you want to transfer because your current school doesn't offer the major you want to study, then check out schools that are highly respected in regards to that particular major. Once you have a list of possible schools, you need to visit the campuses in order to make an educated decision. Be sure to take virtual tours of over 1300 college campuses on this site.

Transferring Credits

Keep in mind that some credits may not be transferable. If you are transferring from a two-year school to a four-year school, you may be required to retake courses that you have already completed at the community college. Furthermore, some schools require you to complete a minimum number of credits at your new school before you can graduate. This may delay your graduation date. Because transferring is such an individual process, you should meet with an admissions officer at the school you want to attend so you will know how your credits will transfer to that particular school.

When Should You Transfer?

Knowing when to start the transfer process is imperative. In general, you should begin the application process at least two semesters before you intend to transfer. Some schools will only take transfers for fall semester, while others will alter their acceptance rates based on fluctuations in enrollment. You should talk to a transfer counselor at the school you are currently attending and make contact with the admissions office of the school you would like to attend so you can research all requirements thoroughly.


After you have weighed the pros and cons of transferring, have picked a transfer school, and know all the requirements involved, you should submit your transfer application. If required, be sure to send transcripts, admissions test scores, letters of recommendation, and the college essay or portfolio. Remember to proofread your entire application carefully to avoid careless errors or mistakes.

Because the circumstances for each transfer student are different, it is imperative that you stay involved and remain focused throughout the entire process. For more information about transferring, read Should You Attend a Community College? and Transitioning From a Community College To a Four-Year School.

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