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5 ways to smooth your transfer to a new college

Maybe the college you initially chose to attend has not felt they way you hoped. Perhaps you’ve discovered you want to pursue a different degree, and the college you currently attend does not offer it. Maybe you moved several hours away from your family, and you’re realizing that you’d rather attend college closer to home. While ideally you would love the first college you attend and graduate with a degree that will launch you into your dream career, sometimes it is worth evaluating the possibility of transferring to another college or university.

Looking for colleges that accept transfer credits can seem daunting, but by planning ahead, you can efficiently spend your time looking for a great transfer college to attend. While no university will be perfect, you can narrow in on an option that will offer you most that you are looking for.

Check out our blog on how to find a good college match.

It can be tough to know where to start when you decide to pursue a transfer bachelor degree. From transitioning to a new group of friends to handling the logistics of learning where your classes will be, how do you know you are ready for a new school?

Here are 5 ways to smooth your transfer to a new college, no matter where you are in your transfer decision process.

Plan Ahead

The more research you do before making your transfer decision, the better. Looking at college websites, conducting searches for specific degrees you would like, and searching social media for insight into campus life are a few ways that you can start your transfer planning.

College websites offer inquiry forms as well, so that you can begin talking directly with someone from admissions. From there, you can get any questions answered and understand the college or university better.

Along with gaining information about the university itself, it is important to learn about the processes in place for colleges that accept transfer credits. You will have to apply to the new college, supply your transcript, and possibly fill out other paperwork as well. Communicating with an admissions counselor will allow you to understand what is required of you in order to transfer to the new college or university.

Visit the college you want to attend

As with your initial college search, it is important to visit colleges you are interested in. Going on a college visit is the best way to get the vibe of a campus and see if you could feel at home there. Especially if you’re looking to transfer colleges, visiting a new college is the best way to figure out if it has what you’re looking for that your current college doesn’t have.

Before you visit, jot down a few things you love about your college experience so far, and a few things you don’t. Keeping those ideas in your mind while you tour will help you figure out if a university could be your future home.

On your campus tour, don’t be afraid to ask the admissions counselor or a faculty member any questions you may have about the program you’re looking to study, campus life, or anything else you are curious about. The best way to find out more about the university is by asking questions as you explore.

If you’ve already decided which college to transfer to, but have not visited, consider making a trip to visit the campus for a day. Having been on the campus once before can make your move-in day and first few days of classes feel more comfortable. Visit days are free, and you are able to bring your family or friends with you to make the visit more fun.

Communicate with your new roommate(s)

Perhaps one of the scariest things about transferring to a new school is the thought of a new roommate. No matter what your previous roommate experience was, it’s normal to be nervous when you meet your new roommate. Help ease this transition by learning who your roommates are ahead of time. This can usually be done through the housing department at a college, and you will be able to communicate with your new roommate via email or text.

Consider getting together with your new roommate before school starts, so they can feel like a familiar person to you on your new campus. Communicating with your roommate ahead of time can help ease some of the nerves of attending a new school, and can make sure you are on the same page as far as your living situation goes.

Stay on top of your schedule

Once you have settled most of the logistics of your transfer bachelor degree, it’s important that you know your schedule and can figure out where to go on campus. Using a campus map or asking classmates are easy ways to find your way around the new campus. Having a good understanding of your schedule can make your transition easy as you know which classes you are attending and when.

If you are involved in extracurricular activities as well, be sure to keep in mind when those are, so that you can ensure that your class schedule does not interfere.

Get connected

Once you’re on campus and starting your first semester at your new college or university, look for ways to get connected. There are countless things to get involved in on a college campus, such as student leadership, athletics, on-campus jobs, choir, and more. Getting involved on campus at a new college or university will help you interact with others and feel more comfortable and at home.

Making friends with people that have similar interests is also easier when you get connected on campus. Don’t be afraid to reach out to classmates, hallmates, and other students to help ease your first few weeks on a new campus.

Need to spend some time comparing your transfer options?

Use this Transfer Decision Worksheet to guide your decision.