How to Transfer College Credits when Changing Schools
Many college students transfer schools some time during their undergraduate career. How can you do it without wasting money and your hard-earned college credits? Here are some tips on how to transfer the maximum number of college credits when transferring to a new school.
35%: Percentage of first-time students who transfer colleges in their undergraduate career. 11% transfer more than once. (1)
56%: Percentage of transfers that come from a 2-year institution (1)
Common considerations for colleges in determining whether to accept transfer credits: (1,2)
1. Regional or national accreditation of previous school
2. Transferring student’s overall GPA
3. Student’s grades in courses being transferred
4. Status of previous school as for-profit or nonprofit
5. Status of previous school as 2-year or 4-year institution
6. When courses being transferred were taken, or their “expiration date”
College credits kept: Percentage of transfer students
90% or more: 58%
Less than 10%: 14%
Here is a list of things to keep in mind when considering transferring schools. (3)
Transfer admissions aren’t always easy
Schools can be a bit pickier about transfer students. The overall admissions rate of transfer students is 64%, a bit lower than the average acceptance rate of first-year students, which is 69%.
Always ask for merit aid
If you don’t, you’re missing out on a lot of money meant mostly for transfer students. 77% of colleges report offering merit scholarships to transfers.
Some schools just don’t have room for transfer students
Don’t be bummed if a school tells you they don’t have room, especially smaller schools, as they will have fewer slots overall. Many schools accept incoming freshmen up to their limit and can’t support any more students.
Your standardized test scores aren’t that important
Because you’ve already been accepted elsewhere, colleges are more interested in the work transfer students have done at their current university than SAT or ACT scores.
See if your desired school has a transfer coordinator
Having a transfer coordinator means that school regularly accepts transfer students. They’ll already have rules set for accepting college credits and procedures for acceptance in line.
Don’t be negative when explaining your reason for transferring
If you have to write a personal statement for your transfer or speak to a coordinator, don’t trash talk your current school, no matter why you left. Focus on the positives, like what you will do in the new program.
Here is a list of specific questions to take with you to your current or prospective advisor when considering transferring: (4)
1. Do my grades transfer with my courses?
2. What is the expiration date on my courses?
3. What is the maximum number of college credits the new school will accept?
4. Will my transferred college credits count toward my major or be electives?
5. Will the new school accept AP tests or level testing that I took?
6. Can I get credit for a class graded as pass/fail?