Transferring colleges is a big decision and it can raise a lot of logistical questions that can seem overwhelming at first. The most important thing to remember is to take these questions one at a time. After all, thousands of students transfer every year and have the same questions you do. To get you started, we took the opportunity to sit down with two transfer counselors to ask them some of the most common questions about transferring.
Heather Whaley is a graduate of Indiana Wesleyan University where she studied Psychology and Sociology. She currently serves at IWU as a Transfer Admissions Counselor in the Admissions Office. Evelyn Waymire is a graduate of Indiana Wesleyan University, where she was a member of the John Wesley Honors College. She presently serves as a Transfer Admissions Counselor in the Office of Admissions at IWU.
1. How do I decide where to transfer?
Visit campus and ask questions! Websites are a wonderful resource for beginning the search for your next school. However, websites cannot reveal the heartbeat of a campus or if you will feel comfortable in the campus community. By stepping foot on a college campus, you will be able to see the campus, get a feel for the community present, and engage with faculty, staff and current students. Remember, this is your journey. You have the right to ask any questions in order to make an informed decision and ensure that the decision you are making is the best one for you.
2. When should I contact the academic advisor of the school I’m transferring to?
As soon as you realize you may want to transfer! If you know you want to transfer and have an idea of where you would like to transfer, inquire. By doing so, the admissions counselor or academic advisor can assist you prior to enrolling in classes at your current institution as to which classes may best serve you based on your intended major and desired timeline for graduation. Communicating prior to the start of your academic journey, or as soon as you realize you wish to transfer, can assist you in understanding how your courses will transfer and allow you to intentionally select coursework that will best serve you and your academic journey.
3. How do I know if my credits will transfer?
Each institution maintains its own policies regarding if credits are transferrable and, if so, how the credits will be applied. Typically, credits must be a 100-level or above (not developmental courses) and the grade earned must be a “C” or higher. Most regionally accredited institutions will also stipulate that the institution a student is transferring from must also hold regional accreditation in order for credit to be transferrable.
4. Does my GPA from my first school carry over?
There are two approaches to carrying over a GPA when transferring. Most commonly, an institution will accept the transfer credit but reset the GPA. However, some institutions will accept the transfer credit and integrate the GPA. You will want to connect with the institution you are looking at transferring to in order to confirm which approach they take with transfer students.
5. What supplemental items are needed to complete my transfer application?
Each institution has its own policies. Common supplemental items requested to complete a student’s transfer application include:
• Official College Transcript(s)
• Letter of Recommendation
• Official High School Transcript
• SAT and/or ACT test scores
6. Are there scholarships available to transfer students?
Institutional aid varies from one institution to another. Most schools will offer an academic scholarship for students, including transfer students. However, it is not a guarantee.
Students should contact the school’s Financial Aid Office to obtain information regarding the financial aid available to them.
7. How will I know what classes to take?
When you register for courses at the institution you are transferring to, an academic or transfer advisor will be able to advise you on what courses you should take based upon what courses you have transferred in and what major you are studying. Submit all official college transcripts, AP credit and dual enrollment credit to the institution as soon as possible.
8. Should I live on campus?
- Are you looking to be a part of a college community?
- What is the cost of living off campus versus living in campus housing?
- Does the institution you are transferring to have policies regarding requirements or age limits to live on campus?
- Are you married? If so, do they offer options for married housing?
These are all questions you will want to ask when considering living on campus, and the answers will help guide your decision.