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Making the Move: 6 Important Tips for College Transfer Students

Are you a potential college transfer student? Consider these important tips to ensure a smooth process throughout this big decision.

Are you interested in transferring to another college or university? There are a number of reasons some students consider this potential move, but it’s imperative to keep in mind that leaving one school for another is a big decision in one’s educational career.

Consider the following tips for college transfer students before you decide to take the leap.

1. Make sure you’re confident in your decision to transfer colleges.

The first step toward a successful transfer process is to be confident that you seriously want to change schools. Sit down and write out a list of reasons why you’re itching to transfer to a different college or university. Then after doing your research, make a list of schools you are considering and make notes on why you chose such schools. Then weigh the pros and cons and try to determine the best option for you from a big-picture standpoint.

2. Determine that you are officially classified as a college transfer student.

If you have previously registered at another college or university as a matriculated student and have completed 19 or more credit hours of coursework, then you are classified as a transfer student.

Transfer students are categorized based on the number of credits they have earned. Below is a breakdown of the requirements for the respective classifications:

  • Freshman: Fewer than 30 earned credits
  • Sophomore: At least 30 and fewer than 60 earned credits
  • Junior: At least 60 and fewer than 90 earned credits
  • Senior: At least 90 earned credits

Keep in mind that if you earned college credits prior to receiving your high school diploma or equivalent, you are not considered a transfer student.

3. Get your high school and college transcripts in order.

Transcripts are a crucial part of any transfer process. These might include both high school and college transcripts.

You should obtain an official transcript from each institution you have attended. These documents should cover all collegiate-level work and credit hours you have completed. Generally speaking, the transcripts should demonstrate good standing at each institution. Official transcripts must be mailed directly from your prior school(s) to the new institution in a sealed envelope.

It’s important to note that if you have earned fewer than 24 college credits, you should also submit your high school transcripts as another record of your academic performance.

4. Don’t forget about letters of recommendation.

Many colleges and universities require transfer students to submit at least one letter of recommendation with their application. This could be from a previous professor or teaching assistant you had in your prior degree program(s). This is also a standard requirement for applying to most schools in general, regardless of whether a student is transferring or simply enrolling in college for the first time.

5. Take a campus tour and talk to faculty, staff, students, and alumni.

If you’ve identified a specific college or university to which you are considering transferring, schedule a campus tour. Check out the residence halls, campus clubs and events, and anything else of interest to you.

In terms of academics, talk to faculty members and staff in the degree program(s) that have caught your eye. Talk to students and alumni who are currently enrolled or have completed these degree programs.

If you’re an online student, you can still reach out to certain individuals to get the scoop on your online program(s) of interest. Find out how these online courses are facilitated and perhaps if you have experience using a similar platform for any online coursework you’ve completed at previous schools.

6. Understand the financial aid implications of transferring schools.

If you have not yet completed the FAFSA, this is an important step to take for all college students.

Plus, some schools offer financial aid incentives to transfer students. For example, Saint Leo University offers a variety of scholarships to new students who transfer in from another school.

The bottom line here is to get a grasp on any financial aid you may qualify for in the future and to determine any financial aid options at the new school you are considering.

Considering Transferring to Saint Leo University?

There are many reasons to consider Saint Leo University if you are looking for a new institution. Saint Leo proudly has a storied history rooted in Benedictine core values, cutting-edge technologies and teaching strategies across a variety of high-demand degree programs, smaller class sizes, one-on-one attention from instructors, and a warm and welcoming community for all students.

Check out the transfer students admissions page to learn more about the specific requirements to transfer to Saint Leo University.

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