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Essential Steps in the College Transfer Process

Considering a college transfer? You’re not alone. Many students start college at one school only to realize after a year or two their current school isn’t the right fit anymore. Some students decide they want to transfer schools to pursue a new major while others are looking to experience a different campus environment. Whatever your reasons for transferring colleges are, there are a few steps you’ll need to take to make sure the next college you attend is the right one for you.

Steps to Transfer Colleges

Not sure how to transfer colleges? Following these steps will help you navigate the transfer process.

Step 1. Think About Why You Want to Transfer

Transferring colleges is a big decision. Going through the application process as a first-year student was likely stressful, and it’s something you’ll have to go through all over again if you choose to transfer. The first thing you should do is consider why you want to transfer. There are pros and cons to transferring, so you need to be sure that a transfer is really the right solution for whatever issues you’re experiencing at your current school. If you’ve already exhausted on-campus resources at your current school or have committed to the idea of transferring, be clear on what direction you want to take as you work your way through the transfer process.

Step 2. Create a College Criteria List

Before you jump into researching potential schools, come up with a list of campus characteristics that are important to you both academically and socially. Questions like these can help clarify what exactly you are looking for:

  • Does this college have my program?
  • Do I prefer a big or small class size?
  • Will I excel with more or less faculty attention?
  • Do I want to attend a public or private school?
  • Do I prefer a particular learning style or environment?
  • How close to or far from home do I want to be?
  • Will I find community on campus?
  • What financial aid support will I need to be able to attend?
  • Will I be able to graduate on time?
  • How cumbersome is the transfer process?

Step 3. Start Researching Colleges

Once you have criteria established, start your search. Only include schools that hit most if not all of the points in your checklist. If possible, it’s helpful to visit colleges you’re interested in before you begin the application process. Seeing the facilities in person along with meeting faculty and students helps you form a more authentic view of these institutions. A specific college might seem perfect on paper, but in reality, it’s possible it might not be the right fit. Making visits when you can may narrow down your options.

Step 4. Reach Out to Admissions Counselors

As you hone in on potential schools, contact their admissions offices. Call or email the counselors to let them know you are looking to transfer and would like to apply. Request information concerning their institution’s specific transfer process. This is also a good time to ask any other questions you may have about the school.

Step 5. Begin Applying

Use the information you received from Admissions to fill out your application. Remember, every college has different requirements and steps to transfer. Be sure to read all instructions closely so your application can be processed without a hitch.

How to Transfer Colleges

At Villa, we try to make it as easy as possible for students to transfer. Here’s what you’ll need to do if you’re interested in transferring to our college.

  • Order your transcripts from your current college’s Registrar’s office or work with your transfer counselor to secure these documents
  • Fill out an online application. It only takes a few minutes!
  • File or update your FAFSA to include Villa Maria College
  • Send your transcripts for transfer credit analysis to Admissions
  • If you haven’t already, schedule a visit on campus

Step 6. Finalize Financial Aid

The financial aid package you received at your previous school will not transfer with you to your new one. You’ll need to secure a new financial aid package before you can begin registering for classes. Work with your new college’s financial aid office to see what opportunities you are eligible for. If the campus offers transfer scholarships or grants, award amounts should be included in your new financial aid package.

Join the Villa Community

Transferring to Villa is easy. Caring professors, small class sizes, and a super welcoming campus await you at Villa. We honor unlimited Say Yes scholarships, give generous financial aid, and offer a robust campus experience that includes athletics, clubs, and activities.