Transfer Student Q&A

Answers to the Questions Commonly Asked by Transfer Students

Thinking about making the move? Learn more about how college transfer works to better plan your future.

Are there different admission requirements for transfer students?

Most colleges do have different requirements for transfer students. These can include application deadlines, minimum GPA requirements, whether transcripts and SAT/ACT test scores are required, if you need to submit an essay or letter of recommendation, and more.

Will my credits transfer and count?

Ultimately the answer to this is up to the institution. However, you should do your homework to discover how courses and exams will possibly be awarded credit at your new school. Most colleges and universities will require that you enroll before they give you a formal transfer credit evaluation. CollegeTransfer.Net has a few ways to help you figure it out beforehand.

What does “accredited” mean and why is it important?

Accredited colleges must meet certain standards that are established by regional or national agencies. This is probably one of the most important things you need to know about the college or university you are considering because other schools will not accept your coursework for transfer if an institution where it was taken is not accredited. Most colleges only guarantee they will accept courses for transfer credit if they are coming from a school that is regionally accredited. Also, students who attend unaccredited institutions are not eligible for federal financial aid and are often unable to obtain professional licensure or meet employment requirements.

What if my transfer credit is denied or downgraded?

If your courses are denied credit or downgraded to general electives, you can appeal the decision. Generally, the process requires you to provide course materials, class descriptions, syllabi, examples of coursework, and other supporting documentation.

What kinds of courses typically will not be accepted for transfer credit?

Courses taken at unaccredited institutions, remedial courses (in math, reading, English for instance), and credits for technical courses generally do not transfer.

Will my grades transfer?

Some colleges only consider grades that are earned at their school, while others will factor in your previous GPA.

What is an academic residency requirement?

Academic residency requirements vary from school to school. They outline the number of credits you must take at an institution to receive a degree. Some specify that you must earn a certain number of upper-level courses and/or courses within your major. They may also limit the amount of transfer credit they will accept.

Will my financial aid transfer?

Financial aid can’t be transferred from one college to another. However, if you received federal financial aid to attend one institution, then you should be eligible for it at another. You must request that the information from your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) be sent to the school you are interested in attending. Also, be sure to consult with the financial aid office of your prospective school to find out their institutional offerings in the form of grants, scholarships, and work-study.

Are scholarships available to transfer students?

There are scholarships available for transfer students, and the admission’s office at any institution will be able to tell you what their school has to offer. Scholarships are typically awarded based on academic, athletic, or other forms of achievement and not necessarily need-based. It is important to note that you will lose institution-specific scholarship money if you switch schools – but funds from outside organizations may be able to transfer with you.

Are there grants for transfer students?

Yes, and they are funds that you can receive free of charge with no condition of repayment. To receive a government grant, you will need to file and apply through the FAFSA. They are not limited to government and many institutions, businesses, or public and private organizations offer grants to reduce tuition burden based on financial need.

How does college transfer affect my student loans?

Federal student loans do not directly transfer between institutions. You will need to update your FAFSA to find out the implications. You may lose certain loans that you received previously, such as Perkins loans. Also, if you move from a four-year to t a two-year institution, your subsidized Stafford loan may substantially decrease. Private loans are at the discretion of the provider and may requirement deferment to continue. When you leave a college, your outstanding loans will enter a grace period, or you might be required to immediately start payment within six months. If you transfer to a new college, you are eligible to apply for an in-school loan deferment allowing you to delay repayments until you leave.

Do I have to have an associate degree to transfer?

No, but earning your associate degree before transferring does have its advantages. Students who complete either an AA or AS degree before moving to a 4-year college tend to have a much better chance of completing their bachelor’s degree. For many students, having an associate degree guarantees entry to the 4-year as a junior. Last, but not least, earning an associate degree before transfer will safe you time and money as your coursework is accepted as a clock instead of a mishmash of courses that mayor may not be accepted or apply toward a major.

What is an articulation agreement?

An articulation agreement is an official partnership between colleges and universities that outlines how credits toward a degree will be recognized and applied toward general education, major, and elective requirements.

Should I finish my college degree?

This question is often asked both by students enrolled in a college or adults who are thinking about returning to college. The answer is overwhelmingly - Yes! According to the National Student Clearinghouse, bachelor degree recipients earn $21,000 more on average than high school graduates. Even students graduating with an associate degree or certificate will have the advantage salary-wise. Other things to consider are the fact that unemployment rates for college grads are lower, the fastest growing jobs in America all require a college education and a degree provides you with a competitive edge while looking for a job or advancing your career.