A Crash Course in Transfer Admissions

The myOptions Team

According to the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), about a third of college students will find themselves as a transfer student.

This could be the plan all along for some students, while others would have never expected to transfer in a million years, but life happens and things change. During my time as an admissions counselor, I was privileged to work with transfer students; each brought with them a different academic journey that gave them something unique to contribute to the campus community. Regardless of the motivation behind transferring colleges and whether you are transferring from a 2-year college or another 4-year college, check out our guide of questions to ask within the transfer admission process to find your best fit.

Do you have an articulation or transfer agreement with my current college?

This will be a listing of courses and their equivalents at the partner institution to show you exactly which courses will automatically transfer.

Do you have a direct admission policy from my institution if certain requirements are met?

An example of this: Some 4-year colleges will have agreements with 2-year colleges and guarantee admission if a student earns an Associate’s degree with a certain GPA.

What kind of support is available for transfer students on-campus?

It’s an unfortunate reality that your GPA is likely to drop as a result of transferring. The adjustment to the new environment can be tough and the course content can be more complex at the new institution. This phenomenon is called transfer shock. It is important to explore the resources your prospective college has in place to combat transfer shock and ease the transition. Are there dedicated advisors for transfer students? Is there a transfer student organization or ambassador program?

Should I wait to transfer until I earn an Associate’s degree or is sooner better?

This can definitely vary from school to school and can depend on which specific academic program you are interested in so definitely ask this question

Are there any scholarships specifically for transfer students?

A lot of schools have specific scholarship opportunities reserved just for transfer students. If high school wasn’t your thing, this can be your second chance to rock it in college and earn a transfer scholarship.

How many credits can I transfer in?

This can also vary from school to school. Be sure to ask for clarification between the credit hours you transferred in vs. the amount being applied to your actual degree plan. Unfortunately, sometimes credits will technically transfer in, but as electives only so they may not count towards your degree program. DEFINITELY get clarification on how your credits are applying.

How long will it take me to earn my degree?

Be sure to ask for an evaluation of your current college credits and how they would transfer into your intended degree program and how many credits remain to give you a realistic idea of your intended graduation.

May I petition courses that I did not receive credit for that I believe are equivalent?

Many times, a transfer credit evaluation is an automated process performed based on common courses students have transferred in the past. If you are transferring from out-of-state or a private institution, the courses may not be automatically transferred. If you believe you have taken similar courses and you weren’t awarded credit, it definitely does not hurt to inquire about petitioning these courses. If you don’t ask the answer is always no, and no one wants to sit through Freshman Comp 101 for the second time...

Some colleges are going to be more transfer-friendly than others, so be prepared for that. We hope these questions will be a good guide to aid you in finding your best transfer option to continue pursuing your educational goals. We wish you the best in this new chapter!

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