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A Beginner's Guide to Transferring Schools

Transfer student on university campus - Tulane School of Professional Advancement

Transferring universities might feel overwhelming when considering all the necessary components of a successful transfer, but it's important to remember that you aren't alone. According to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, approximately 38% of college students transfer schools within their first six years. At Tulane SoPA, we value our transfer students and strive to make the transition process as seamless as possible. Because knowing what to anticipate can help streamline the transfer process, Tulane SoPA recommends transfer students take the following steps to ensure a smooth transition.

Determine Your Reasons for Transferring

It's a good idea to evaluate your reasons for wanting to change institutions before you begin the process of doing so. College students transfer schools for a variety of reasons, whether it be for a specific major or degree type, your financial situation, or a change in academic performance, among others.

Whatever your reason for transferring, it's important to make sure that you have a legitimate explanation when you're applying to another school. You'll be writing essays and possibly doing interviews and visits, and being prepared to address the issue of why you're transferring will make you a better applicant.

Know the Cost of Changing Universities

While some students intend to start at a community college and transfer to a four-year institution to save money, for others, it may be a matter of saving money by transferring to a lower-cost institution. If you're undergoing a transfer to save on finances, you should be aware of common variables that affect the overall cost, which includes:

  • Your transfer college's acceptance of previous credits
  • Your eligibility for financial aid and merit-based scholarships
  • Whether your transfer college mandates residence

Whether or not you transfer to save money, it's important to understand and anticipate any costs you may face as a transfer student. Choosing the right school that works with your budget is a critical step in the transfer process.

Find the Right School

Whatever the reason for your transfer, you want to make sure your new institution is a suitable match. To do so, you'll need to research thoroughly to find the right school. Before you enroll at your new school, be confident that the university you choose not only meets your budget but also offers the degree program you're searching for, any extracurriculars that interest you, and a mission statement that resonates with your beliefs.

It can be helpful to make a list of institutions you're considering and cut it down to a reasonable number as if you were applying right out of high school. However, you'll want to make sure that you can envision yourself at all of these institutions for the entire term of your degree program.

Research the School's Expectations for Transfer Students

Even if you select a school that best suits your needs, it's critical to know that the transfer might be challenging. The admission rate for transfer students is often lower than for first-year students. However, this does not imply that you should not apply to colleges as a transfer student or that doing so is a poor idea. Instead, it means that you should properly prepare and follow through as if you were going to a four-year institution.

One way to boost your chances of acceptance as a transfer student is to familiarize yourself with your chosen college's expectations to ensure that you meet all of the criteria. If you're interested in learning about Tulane SoPA's requirements for transfer students, you can request more information online.

Stay on Top of Your Grades

The most crucial aspect of a student's transferability is their grades. With the restricted number of transfer students accepted, your grades must be excellent. If you're having academic problems at your present school, it's recommended that you determine and fix the source of the problem before applying elsewhere.

Even if you have already decided to transfer, don't let your performance at your present school slip through your fingers. Mid-year reports, which ask your current instructors to assess your work and forecast your grade for the conclusion of the semester, are often required for transfer applications. Keep up the excellent work in your present courses if you want a favorable report.

Schedule a Meeting With Your Advisor

The first week of school is too late for most transfer students to meet with an advisor. Plan ahead of time. Advisors are there to help you develop your schedule and get the most out of your time at school. Whether to help you schedule classes or determine which of your previous credits can be transferred, academic advisors at your transfer school can be imperative guides in becoming integrated into your new program.

Academic transfer counselors at your current institution may also provide further assistance if needed. These advisors are versed in the process of transferring and are the best individuals to help you out. In addition, they may offer guidance if you don't know which institution is best suited for your needs, if you're having difficulty meeting the standards of your transfer university, or if you have any other pressing concerns about the transition.

Gather the Required Materials for Your Application

When applying to your transfer school, you'll need to ensure that your application is refined and impressive because of the lower admissions percentages for transfer students. Aside from specific materials requested by your transfer school, include your transcripts, exam scores, and any letters of recommendation to increase your chances of acceptance.

Getting letters of reference from professors might be difficult if you're just starting in college since they may not have had as much time with you. Seek letters from professors who are most familiar with you, but make sure you know the rules on letters from teaching assistants at your new school.

Apply As a Transfer Student to Tulane SoPA

Transferring schools has many benefits, like helping you save money when you transfer from a community college to a four-year institution. However, transferring colleges can be complicated and should be handled with care. At Tulane SoPA, we believe in the talent of our transfers students and offer extensive guidance on how to transfer successfully. To get started with your transfer to Tulane SoPA, begin your application today.

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