Transferring techniques: A guide from the Office of Admission

May 01, 2017

By Candace Silver
Director of Admission

So you want to transfer, but what does “transferring” really even mean?

Transferring can sound like you are an outsider who doesn’t belong. Let’s face it, you are, in fact, starting over. You will need to relocate, relearn another campus and make new friends. It certainly isn’t easy and it almost never takes place overnight.  

Let’s start with your “why”.

Why are you seeking change? Maybe it’s because your current institution doesn’t offer your major, and maybe that’s because you just figured out what your major is. It could be financial reasons. Or you have discovered that your current college or university simply wasn’t a good fit like you thought it would be.

I’m here to tell you–whatever reason you are transferring–it’s okay! Everyone will have a different reason, a different story and a different journey.

So now that you know you are going to transfer, what’s next? How does one actually transfer? What about your major? What about credit transfer? Where are you going to live and what about your social life? How do you apply? And the most important question: what about the money?

It’s okay–don’t panic. Below are tips and hints to help you transfer with ease. As a former transfer student myself, and a transfer counselor now, I know you want the transfer process to be easy as possible. At Lees-McRae, I’m going to make your process simple.

Let’s Begin

This leads me to my first piece of advice: Talk to the transfer counselor at the institutions you are considering.

Make sure that for whatever reason you are leaving your current institution, the next school either has it–or doesn’t! This is a great place to start, because…well…you are going to college to earn a degree in a specific area–you’re not just going for the food!

Getting Credit

Let’s say you have narrowed your choices down to two or three potential transfer schools based on the academic major offering. Now what? Well what about all of the courses you have already completed.

What happens to that credit? Do you really have to start over from year one? Nope!   

You have put a lot of hard work into earning credits, so you need to ask what will transfer. All colleges and universities will have different criteria pertaining to transfer credits.

My suggestion to you is to ask for a preliminary transcript evaluation prior to applying. This will eliminate unnecessary energy when you are ready to apply! The website and course catalog are also good resources for getting this particular information.

For my fellow community college goers, talk with the transfer counselor about what’s called an articulation agreement. As it’s name implies, the document is an agreement between community colleges and other higher education institutions. What does the articulation agreement mean for you? Well, it means that the general education courses you took at your community college are required to transfer over as general education credits at your next school.

As for those transferring from a two or four-year institution, another tip is to ask the transfer counselor for curriculum checklists for the program of your choice. This will help you determine what you have left to take to plan out your semesters and time to graduate.

Under a New Roof

Once you have figured out a major and credits–you may want to make sure you have a place to live.

Sigh, housing. You will need to ask about your options.

Get to know the campus and surrounding location before and after your transfer. Take advantage of the resources on campus during your decision making process and as a current student. The experience is going to be what you make it–so make it a good one.

Apply Time!

We are almost there!

So you figured out your academic plan as well as your living situation–awesome! You should probably apply at this point. So start talking to the transfer counselor about what is needed for the application process. Is there an application fee? Some institutions will waive application fees for transfer students, and it doesn’t hurt to ask! 

The office of admission at Lees-McRae knows you have already paid applications fees in your high schools days, so we just waive it for you! 

Do you need to submit test scores, high school transcripts or letters of recommendation? All institutions will differ in what is needed, but I can guarantee that you will have to send official transcripts from all colleges you have attended. Again, the website is a good resource for getting this information.

Show Me the Money

So you did your homework and applied to the right schools and were accepted! Woo! Your decision should be pretty easy at this point, right? Oh, well there is probably one more thing you are concerned about. Cost! Who isn’t?

Once you get your financial aid package, you will need to determine value of cost. It could turn out the school you are set to transfer to is a little bit more expensive than where you are coming from. But remember, there is a reason you are transferring. That reason is value–they have your major, there are more chances for campus involvement, more internship opportunities and so on. These are all value experiences that make the cost worth it.

Oh yeah, another tip, don’t get bogged down with the initial price you see on the website. Once your financial aid and scholarships come into play, you will probably never pay the first price you see! Remember–it’s all about value. 

Let Them Know

Up next is to let the school of your choice know your decision. They will be so excited to welcome you!  Let the other schools on your list know that you have made your decision and will be declining their offer (they won’t be mad, I promise). 

Your final steps will probably include a mixture of paying your enrollment deposit, registering for the simple one-day orientation, submitting final transcripts and housing and health forms.

The Grand Finale

My biggest advice to you is to understand what is important to you as you make your college decision. Is it major, size of school, location or cost? Knowing these factors and your ability to rank them will help you narrow down your choices.

My last piece of advice is to visit every, single college or university that you are considering transferring to. This is a great excuse to go on a road trip with your friends. Schools may even offer a special transfer day. At Lees-McRae we offer “Transfer Tuesday”–a day specifically designed for those considering transferring to Lees-McRae.

Ultimately, the most important thing to remember is that it’s all about you! I hoped this helped, and if you have any more questions, never hesitate to contact me.

Happy searching!

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