Who should you get in touch with at a particular school if you’re hoping to transfer into it? It should be easy to move from an old school and quickly understand a one’s basic college transfer deadlines and requirements. But the truth is that each school is different. It can actually be tough find out who to speak to at a new school to get accepted, and get as much credit as possible for the course work you’ve already completed.
Some colleges have a dedicated transfer advisor, who you’ll find contact info for on the particular school’s website. But if that’s not the case – and its actually not at most schools – you may need to do a bit of detective work to find the answers you need about transferring credits.
Many schools have their admissions office handle transfer students. There may be a “transfer specialist” or “transfer counselor” within the office, which is a good thing if you want very specific transfer info. But you may simply find yourself dealing with a general admissions counselorr. In many cases, a particular counselor will be assigned to you once you’ve officially begun your application for college transfer. Getting a course equivalency guide to figure out how many credits you’ll get for each individual class you’ve already taken isn’t always a cut and dried thing. Although many schools have created systems to make this easier for incoming transfer students (see below), you may have to spend a good deal of time talking to an admissions counselor or to professors in a particular department to figure out how much credit you’ll get.
Remember it’s important to do the work and find out how many credits you can transfer before you register for any new school. The number of credits you can transfer can have a huge effect on what your degree will ultimately cost.
Click to Tweet This Tip: Don’t ever register for a new college before you have spoken to someone there who can confirm how many of your old course credits you can transfer in. Major #college financial issue!
Other Doors To Credit Transfer
Some schools, like private northeastern college Lehigh, handle transfer students are via the registrar’s office. Still others, like CUNY LaGuardia in New York, appoint a professor to be the “coordinator of credit for prior learning” to give expert advice to incoming transfer students.
If you’re applying to a large university, you may find a mish-mash of admissions counselors for specific schools. University of Michigan, for example, has its general office of undergrad admissions talk to incoming transfers to the College of Literature, Science of Arts and the College of Engineering. But if you want to transfer to another college within UM, you’ll need to talk to that specific college admissions office.
Online Transfer Process
A number of schools now have fairly sophisticated online systems to help transfer students get their admissions process started and find out how many credits they can transfer in.
The University of New Mexico, for example, has chat setup that allows you to ask any questions you may have about transfer credit before starting your application.
Penn State University has an online system called XCAT which allows you to submit information about courses you have taken at a previous school to be considered to credit transfer. You’ll need to supply a syllabus for each course you took to assess transfer credit equivalency, your grades and other information. You’re then likely to wind up talking to an admissions counselor who has reviewed your history and can give you solid information about what you can and cannot get transfer credit for. Needless to say, this process varied depending on whether you are trying to transfer colleges after your freshman year or you’re doing it after your sophomore or junior year. The more coursework you’ve already done toward a degree, the more work you’re going to have to do to maximize your transfer credits.
A good place to start can be College Transfer Net, which has an online tool for comparing courses at many, but not all schools. You can get a good estimate here, but you’ll want to talk to the right counselor at your new school to make sure you’ve got the details right. Course credits are expensive, and you don’t want to lose any that you may deserve.
After You Enroll
Finally, remember that once you have been accepted as a transfer student to your new school, there may be resources available to help make sure you succeed. New York State school SUNY Oneonta, for example, has a unique program called “Transfer Traditions” that includes “Transfer Student Mentors,” a program where existing students mentor new transfers as they navigate their first semester, a club for transfer students and a lecture series called “New Student Success Stories” where a variety of credit transfer and other topics are covered.