Transferring to a new school mid college career is a bold and adventurous move. It gives you the opportunity to meet new people—perhaps live in a new city—gain new cultural experiences and challenge yourself. But challenge and change, although both inherently good, can be stressful and scary.
Among the many moving parts, here are three main items to focus on when considering which college to transfer to and adjusting after you transfer.
First, figure out what the admission requirements for transfer students are at your potential transfer school. Hopefully, there is a designated transfer department to help you through this process. Some questions to consider: Am I admissible? How many of college credits will transfer? Are there scholarship options for transfer students? What about tuition—what are in- and out-of-state tuition rates?
Once you narrow down your scope of schools based on admissibility, tuition, etc., it’s time to discover what campus life is like—go visit some campuses! Are there lots of clubs, sports and organizations for you to get involved in? Is faculty supportive? Is campus fun and safe?
Some colleges invite students to stay the night for a real campus experience. Overnight stays often include free lodging in residence halls, the chance to meet other future students as well as current students, a campus tour and more. Be sure to ask the transfer counselors at the colleges you’re considering if this is an option—it’s the perfect way to check out campus life.
You Made it—Now What?
The best way to acclimate to a new campus is to dive right in! What clubs or sports can you join? What on-campus jobs and/or internships are available? Working on campus means you’ll have a no-fuss commute and you’ll meet fellow students and classmates. Live on campus—it’s a great way to make friends—and even become an RA.
Many colleges have unique ways to welcome new students to campus. Welcome programs are designed to help students get to know campus, meet new friends and enjoy fun outings like movies, dodgeball and other sports, social gatherings and more.
“There were plenty of campus-wide activities and events that took place during [my first week] and then throughout the college year,” said Jessica Baral, senior, communications major at Grand Canyon University. “This certainly helped me to adjust to the campus culture as well as hear other students’ college journeys.”