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Guide to Transferring Colleges: Tips & Advice

College transfer student smiling and carrying a backpack.

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Transferring colleges can be a daunting process, but with the right tips and advice, it can be made easier. This guide will provide you with information on how to make the transition to a new school as smooth as possible. It will cover topics such as the reasons why other students decide to transfer, tips to prepare for the transfer process, and how Collegeboxes can help your journey. With these tips and advice in hand, you can confidently navigate through the college transfer process and make an informed decision about your future.

Reasons students decide to transfer colleges

Transferring schools during your undergraduate study is a completely normal and common occurrence among college students. According to the National Student Clearinghouse, roughly 30 percent of students transfer schools before earning their four-year degrees. The reason why so many students decide to transfer can be attributed to many factors. 

Among these factors, the most common are academic reasons, financial reasons, or reasons related to campus location and culture. Academically, many students find that their previous school doesn’t offer the major or academic program they are interested in pursuing. Also, many students attending community colleges transfer to universities to pursue four-year degrees. Financially, some students find that the college they are currently attending is too expensive or that they can receive better financial aid and scholarships at another institution.  

And finally, some students decide to transfer due to the location or culture of their current campus. Perhaps they are looking to move closer to home or end up deciding they aren’t a great fit with the environment of their current campus. When looking to transfer colleges, these factors should be considered. These situations may not align with your own reasons for wanting to transfer, however they might help point you in the right direction of which college is the best fit for you.

Tips on How to Transfer Colleges

For many students, transferring to a new college gives the impression of being an overwhelming and intimidating process. However, with the right planning and preparation – your journey as a transfer student can be smooth and successful. Before you start the process, Collegeboxes has some tips to help.  

Here are some important tips for your college transfer process:

1. Evaluate Your Reasons for Wanting to Transfer

Before you begin the process of transferring colleges, it’s important to assess your reasons for wanting to. Are you looking for a different academic program? Are you unhappy with the campus culture or where it’s located? Your new college should align with your academic and career goals while also meeting other preferences that your current school does not. Understanding your reasons for transferring will help you to find a college that is the best fit for you. 

2. Meet with an Academic Advisor or School Counselor

Speak with an advisor or counselor at your current school to discuss your plans to transfer. If you can secure an official appointment with an academic advisor, they can provide a better understanding of how your current credits will transfer to your new college. They can also provide directions on the transfer process and may be able to connect you with additional resources. Ultimately, meeting with an advisor can help you understand the best course of action for transferring colleges according to your personal situation. 

3. Complete Your Transfer Application

After meeting with an advisor, you should have a better idea of what your next steps should be – which will include submitting a transfer application to your new college. Similar to when you first applied to colleges, you must gather the necessary application materials. This includes transcripts, letters of recommendation, and any other required documents. Be sure to pay close attention to application deadlines, as they can vary between colleges. It’s also recommended to prepare your personal statement or essays, which may be required in some applications.

4. Prepare for the Transition

You’ve been officially accepted to transfer! Now you can begin to plan for your move to your new college. This may include finding housing (dorm room or off-campus), scheduling classes, and making transportation arrangements. Moving to college, even as a transfer student can be a complicated process – if you’re moving a great distance, consider getting professional help to make your move easier.

College Student holding Collegeboxes shipping box

How Collegeboxes Helps Transfer Students

Collegeboxes is the leading student storage and shipping provider that offers services to make college moving an easier process – even for transfer students. Our Ship to School service is a tremendous option that assists many students each semester. When using the Ship to School service, your boxes and other belongings are shipped from your home to a local U-Haul facility near campus. There your items are temporarily stored and then delivered directly to your dorm room on the date you choose.

If you’re moving from one college dorm to another – our Storage and Shipping service will be the perfect fit for your situation. With the Collegeboxes Storage and Shipping service, your belongings are shipped and stored at our facilities between semesters. Allowing you to visit home for the summer without the need to worry about your belongings. While in storage your items are 100% accessible until they are delivered to you on campus.

Frequently Asked Questions About Transferring Colleges

Is Transferring Colleges Hard?

While it can be an extensive process, transferring is no harder than your first time getting admitted into college. With proper preparation and guidance, many students seamlessly transfer to their new university and continue their pursuit of higher education.

Is Transferring Colleges Worth It?

For many students – Yes! Among those who are transferring to switch majors or to move from a community college to a four-year university, the ability to transfer colleges and continue their education is more than worth it.

Does Transferring Colleges Affect Financial Aid?

Yes, transferring colleges will affect your student aid. This is not necessarily a negative situation – however when your original financial aid was calculated it was done per the programs and needs of attending your previous school. Due to this, your original financial aid will not transfer to your new university. 

Please visit studentaid.gov/resources/transfer-students for more information regarding your financial outlook when transferring. 

When Transferring Colleges Does GPA Transfer?

No, the GPA from the courses you completed at your previous college will not transfer once you attend a different university. The credits for the courses you took will transfer, however the specific grades you received will not. These grades will remain on your official transcript.