Tips for transfer students

In today's challenging economy, finishing your degree is more important than ever. However, for some students, their initial choice of college may not be working out quite the way they thought it would. What do you do if you like your degree program, but want to earn your qualification somewhere else? A recent article in the Huffington Post by Rebecca Joseph, an associate professor at California State University, outlined some tips for students who are thinking of transferring to another school.

If you want to transfer to a different college, the first thing that Joseph recommends is looking at schools that had previously accepted your college applications when you first applied. Although some schools may require you to resubmit another application, some won't. Think about contacting these schools as your first step.

Although there's not much you can do to change them after the fact, your senior-year grades are really important. The better your senior GPA, the better your chances are to successfully transfer to another institution. Likewise, your freshman grades should be as good as they possibly can be. If you're unhappy at your present college, strong freshman-year grades could place you in a much better position if you want to transfer.

It may be useful to keep a calendar of the various deadlines at the schools you're thinking of transferring to. Depending on the college, application deadlines for transfer students can vary substantially, and keeping a visual record of when to submit your applications by can help make the process seem more manageable. Just as early applicants can stand a better chance of successful admission in your senior year, the same is true of many transfer applicants. The sooner you apply, the better your chances could be.

Although transferring can be demanding when you're trying to focus on your studies, planning and hard work are just as important as they were when you were filling out your original college applications.

"After I listen [to students who want to transfer], I begin to talk to them about the need to have short- and long-term goals," Joseph wrote. "I remind them that, unfortunately, transferring during and after freshmen year means that they must be doing the best they have ever done academically and be involved on and off campus."

According to, careful planning is also vital for calculating how many credits you can successfully transfer to a new school. Although you may qualify to transfer many of your existing credits to a new college, some schools may have different admissions factors for the major you want to study. Contact your prospective schools with plenty of notice to find out exactly how many credits you are eligible to transfer, and which classes you'll have to take in order to qualify.

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