How The College Transfer Process Works

Transferring colleges is seemingly simple on the surface level. You get tired of your current school, you pick a new school, and then you go there. But transferring colleges right — going to a new school you actually like going to, and bringing all of the college level credits you have earned along with you — is a little more complicated.

People have a variety of reasons for transferring colleges, whether it be dissatisfaction with their current college, a drastic change in major, or decision to move from a community college to a university. But no matter what your motivation is, those are your two major goals: finding a school you like, and keeping all of your credits. To nail these two seemingly unambitious goals, you will need an understanding of how the whole process works. Whether you want to transfer toPepperdine University or Pomona College, this guide can help you understand how the college transfer process works in 5 easy steps.

How the College Transfer Process Works

Run Your College Search

Identify all of the criteria you have for your perfect college. Location, your major, social environment, reputation, quality of education, and even the success of the sports teams should all be considered. Then consider every college that sparks your interest. You may qualify for more colleges than you give yourself credit for, so don’t leave any out.

Notify Your School?

Just because your school likely still wants you to stay there doesn’t mean they won’t help you transfer, especially if you are at a community college. The counseling department at your school will greatly benefit your transfer process. They will have a greater knowledge of the ins and outs of the transfer process than you will, and will also be able to help you identify the schools that they have a good transfer relationship with. A lot of community colleges have developed a transfer path with certain universities where your transfer may even be guaranteed if you meet a minimum GPA.

Contact Your New School?

Getting in touch with the school you want to go to is probably the most important part of the transfer process. This is how you will find out about their application process, as well as their policy on your previous credits being transferred. The counseling department at your new school will be the biggest assistants in transferring there, because that is their job.


Once you have figured out what is required of you to apply to your new school, all that’s left is to do it. Some schools will ask for full applications akin to the ones you did when first applying for college, with an essay and everything. Others will have a different type of process that will be more simplified since you have already been a college student. Either way, this is the step that will make or break your college transfer process.

Enjoy your new school?Your long transfer process is over, so now comes what is really the most important step: learning and having a good time at your new college.

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