November 18th, 2010
Exploring new options for college? Whether you're looking to move from a two-year school to a four-year school or upgrade from one four-year school to another, there are a few details to remember when transferring schools. The process itself is simple — if you've accumulated more than 30 hours, some schools require only your college transcript, which will need to meet minimum GPA requirements for admission. If you have fewer than 30 hours, you'll need to send your high school transcript and SAT scores in addition to your college transcript. In both cases, you may have to submit an essay or schedule an interview depending on the admissions requirements of the school. The part that many students struggle with is the prospect of becoming acclimated to a slightly different academic environment.
There's no doubt that transferring can lead to a more enjoyable college experience. After all, you're making the move for a reason. However, you may have to adjust to a few inconveniences that occur as a result. For one, the degree plan, even if you haven't changed majors, may be different. Courses may be required that you didn't need at your previous four-year school, possibly causing you to delay your expected graduation date. This can become even more complicated when transferring from one state to another or from a public to private institution and vice versa because education requirements may differ. Of course, if you're changing majors, the degree plan will be very different, and if you've already invested a few semesters in your previous major, not all of the classes in which you've received credit will count toward your degree.
Before making a final decision on a new school, speak at length with an advisor in your prospective major and ask them to outline your requirements. In addition to knowing which classes you'll need to take and how your credits will transfer, you'll also need to know prerequisite and GPA requirements. Selective majors require students to apply for admission after their freshman or sophomore years, and they typically establish a minimum GPA requirement. In fact, if you're a veteran student, you may have to apply directly to the major's department as opposed to going undeclared. Just like with any other big decision in life, you'll need to do your homework before transferring in order to ensure the move is right for you.