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Transferring Colleges FAQ: A Guide for Students

Transferring colleges has become more common in recent years. According to recent data, the number of transfer students has increased by over five percent between fall 2022 and fall 2023. The same study found that more than 13 percent of all undergraduate students in fall 2023 were transfers. While transferring can be necessary to reignite your academic journey, it can also be overwhelming. The more you know about transferring colleges, the more you’ll be prepared to make the change when you’re ready.

Common Questions about Transferring Colleges

How Do I Know If I Should Transfer?

Everyone has their own reasons to transfer colleges, but there are usually a few main factors. A lot of students end up transferring because they are struggling academically, they aren’t comfortable in the classroom or on campus, or they want to change their major. Whatever your reasons are, ask yourself if a transfer is the right move for you. Will changing schools solve your problems? Are there resources at your current school you could utilize first before transferring?

When Should I Begin the Transfer Process?

If you do decide to transfer, you should try to do it sooner rather than later in your academic career. Freshman or sophomore year are the ideal times to transfer, especially if you are planning to switch majors. In these years, most of your courses are likely general education or prerequisites, which are often easier to transfer.

Are There Requirements to Transfer?

Most colleges will have a minimum GPA requirement of around 2.0 or higher for transfer students. You’ll also need transcripts from your previous school and to fill out the new college’s transfer application, which may include an essay. Other requirements may also apply, so research your prospective college’s exact specifications on its website.

How Can I Choose the Right School This Time?

Start by thinking about the reasons that made you want to transfer in the first place. Consider what kind of learning and campus environment you feel is necessary to be successful. Ask yourself what kind of student-to-faculty ratio you want, what kind of social activities are available, and other relevant questions. If you are changing your major at the same time, look for schools with a solid reputation for your new program. It’s also a good idea to visit prospective schools before you apply or commit so you get a first-hand look at what each offers.

Will All of My Credits Transfer?

This depends on how many credits you have and if you’re staying in a similar program or switching majors. Some credits from your previous major may not apply to your new one, or you could have too many credits overall and won’t be able to transfer all of them. For example, Villa allows students to transfer up to 90 credits for a bachelor’s degree and 45 credits for an associate degree.

Can I Transfer and Graduate On Time?

Possibly, but this also depends on how many of your credits transfer over. Speak with an admissions counselor at prospective schools to review your credits and options for future semesters.

How Will My Financial Aid Be Affected by Transferring?

Since your total financial aid package will not transfer with you from one college to another, your financial aid package is likely to change. You will have to update your FAFSA and include your transfer school on it. Some student aid like Pell Grants and Direct Subsidized or Unsubsidized loans are usually transferable, but you will lose out on any scholarships or grants you earned directly from your previous school. However, a lot of colleges offer scholarships specifically for transfer students. Villa offers three types of transfer scholarships, with top awards earning $10,000 toward tuition.

Is It Worth Transferring Colleges?

Like anything else, there are pros and cons to transferring schools. With self-reflection and research, you’ll be able to decide if transferring is right for you. For some students, it’s exactly what they need to succeed now and in the future.

How Do I Apply to Transfer Colleges?

Once you have a list of prospective transfer schools, look closely at their requirements. Reach out to admissions offices to speak with a counselor; they’ll be able to clear up any questions you have. Update your FAFSA and gather materials like transcripts, recommendation letters, and other necessary documents. Then it’s time to apply!

Learn More About Transferring to Villa

Villa loves helping students find their way. We make transferring easy with a quick application process and counselors ready to assist with transcripts, credit transfers, and more.