Transferring to a new college can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Not only is transferring an opportunity to begin fresh, but it’s an opportunity to renew your aspirations and ensure you’re attending a school that will offer you a quality education and positive campus life experience.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the idea of transferring, rest assured that colleges want to assist you in making the transition as smooth as possible, and they want to answer all of your questions as you make your final decision.
Amidst your search for the best college and experience for YOU, consider asking college representatives these questions in addition to those you’re already asking about credit transfers and your chosen area of study:
What does student and faculty interaction look like at your school?
Most students want faculty members who will inspire them to learn and who will assist them in the learning process. Inquire as to whether faculty members are available to meet with you outside of class to answer questions and assist with course material. You may also be interested in the student-to-faculty ratio, as it could provide some insight on the amount of personal assistance you would receive.
What academic support services are available for students?
While you’ll likely find that many faculty members are happy to offer assistance with their course material, you may also want to seek out peer support. Inquire as to whether schools have peer tutors—students who are handpicked by professors to offer additional coursework assistance outside of the classroom. Peer tutors often guide one-on-one and group study sessions, help revise research papers, offer study assistance and provide tips in successfully navigating through classes. You may also find that colleges have designated study centers offering after-class assistance and study sessions.
Does your school have a proven record of graduate success?
Your college education should prepare you for your next stage of life—whether it be graduate school or the workforce. When considering colleges to transfer to, do your research and ask questions about each school’s graduate success:
- What percentage of alumni are employed or in graduate school within six months of graduation?
- What do employers say about their employees who graduated from your institution?
- Do graduate students feel prepared in their next level of education after receiving their undergraduate degree from your institution?
Are career counselors available when I’m ready to graduate?
You may want to inquire about the availability of career counselors. Many colleges have individuals who are dedicated to aiding students in writing their cover letters and resumes, searching for jobs, offering practice interviews, and providing study guides for graduate school entrance exams. Services like these allow you to hit the ground running when it comes to landing your first job or being accepted into graduate school.
How can I get involved on campus?
While you’ll certainly want to inquire about academics at the school you’re considering, you’ll also want to ask about the ways you can get involved on campus. Colleges offer many clubs, organizations, teams and groups for students. Maybe you’re interested in music, the arts, student government, the campus newspaper, athletics, politics, service project opportunities … the list goes on! Take time to explore the opportunities available to you. Getting involved on campus allows you to explore your interests and develop friendships at your new school.
What is campus life like?
Perhaps you enjoy playing flag football or chatting over coffee with friends. During your college search, be sure you’re looking for a school that not only meets your academic expectations, but also feels like your home-away-from-home. Inquire with college admissions personnel about the campus community:
- Do most students live on campus, and what types of campus housing options are available?
- Does your college offer student activities (i.e., concerts, intramural athletics, campus traditions, etc.)?
- What dining options are available on campus?
- What do students say about the campus community?
Campus life will play an integral role in your college experience, so take time to ask questions and do your research to find a place that’s the right fit for you.
Set your sights high as you take the exciting next step to transfer—whether you’re graduating from a community college or seeking a college that better meets your needs. If possible, visit the campuses of the colleges you’re considering. Request to meet professors from your area of study, talk with student ambassadors who can offer firsthand perspectives and explore the campus community.
You deserve the best experience possible, so ask questions, do your research and find a school in which you’ll be confident.