How to Successfully Transfer Colleges

College Transfer Basics

Education is not filling a pail but the lighting of a fire.” ~William Butler Yeats


If transferring schools is in the offing for you, please read the following sections carefully to help with a smooth transition from one higher education institution to another.

Popular Types of College Transfers

There are three types of transfers we will cover: reverse transfer, lateral transfer, and vertical transfer.  A reverse transfer is when you transfer from a four-year institution to a two-year institution.  A lateral transfer is a transfer whereby the terms match – as in a two-year to two-year college transfer or a four-year to four-year transfer.  Lastly, the vertical transfer (also known as 2/4, traditional, or forward transfer) is when a student moves from a two-year institution to a four-year institution.

Organizing and Planning Your Transfer

As with any other life change, plan early and perform your due diligence prior to making a formal decision when transferring schools.  In fact, a successful transfer starts during the first few months of school by thinking strategically about your future.  Mapping out very specifically what you need to do in order to take the next step in your academic path will make all other facets of the process much easier.

Make sure to review your college transcripts when strategically planning out your college transfer making sure you know where you stand and what is needed to be accepted into the next school.  Pay close attention to any application deadlines and make sure to research financial aid options.  All these factors play a vital role in setting yourself up for a positive experience and successful transfer.

Articulation Agreements.  Check with your school counselor to see if they have an articulation agreement with other four-year institutions to accept credits for transfer students.  Plan out your course work and educational trajectory with the knowledge that your current classes will be counted towards the degree of your choice at the school you desire down the line.

Stay Focused.  By being organized and focused on your studies, the grades will follow.  Having good grades and a plan for future course work, the transfer process is paces along the path to success already.  If you need extra assistance with a particular class or improving study habits, make the effort to visit with your professors or link up with a tutor.

Building Your Resume.  You can build a successful resume through grades, on-campus/off-campus work, volunteering, and through diligence with your studies.  Each valuable use of time helps your professors better understand you as a person making the request for a letter of recommendation an easy ask, especially leading up to a school transfer.

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