Thinking you want to Transfer
For some, the first semester at college or even the first year reveal that the choice made a year ago is not working. Or for some, the choice was fine, but now as you have experienced college, you have your eye on a specific program you know realize is where you want to put your passion and drive, and it is at another school. Or for others, the actual cost of attending school away from home has taken a toll for a variety reasons: financial, social, psychological, etc. There are many reasons students find the need to transfer to another school. So here are some quick items on your chronology to get you through it with an accurate checklist of what needs to be done.
First, the deadlines for most undergrad programs starting in the fall of 2017 are due now! End of January through end of March most applications are due. Also for those who are seniors in college applying for graduate school the same applies to you. NOW is the time.
Second, if you are applying to another undergraduate program, you need not retake your SAT or ACT test. You can release your previous scores you used when you first applied from high school. If you are applying to graduate school and you are required to submit a test: GRE, GMAT, LSAT, or MCAT, you must have taken those as well. If you have not taken, you really must do so now. If you took them before, your scores are good for five years. So, even if you do not want to apply right now, you can apply next year or the year after and not have to retake your test. Some tests you cannot take multiple times, whereas others will let you take up to five times, and select the best administration to submit. Again, the deadline for doing so is within five years for most.
Release the scores to the schools you are applying now. The scores take anywhere from one to five weeks to be prepared and sent to the schools. You must submit and pay for the scores to be sent directly from the company to the school electronically. You cannot submit the scores as a copy of your own report. Score reports are about $30 each to send to a school.
Also, you must request your transcripts to be sent. You can get paper copies of transcripts and copy, and send via mail, or you can have your transcripts faxed directly to the school you are applying to, usually Admission Office, or most colleges allow for you to request your transcripts online and have emailed directly to the schools you are applying to…often a college charges somewhere around $25 for each set of transcripts you send out.
You must from two to five recommenders. You should get at least one teacher from school now. You can use high school teachers as well. Pick someone who knows you well and also for a long period of time. If you are close to your advisor or the Dean of your own program, you should make an appointment to discuss your plan and ask for a recommendation. You need your recommender’s email address as the invitation will be sent directly to them from your application. You will waive your right of review to allow the recommendation to be confidential. Know that most recommenders will receive the invitation from your schools within 4 weeks. So follow up at least once, two weeks after application submission to ensure your recommenders are aware to look for the email.
Now the applications, you must complete the Common Application for Transfers, or the specific program or school applications if you cannot use the Common Application. You will be required to write new essays. You may not use the same essay you wrote for your initial college application. You might also be required to write a supplement about why that particular school. You will have to explain why you want to transfer and what you feel you will accomplish by doing so; I strongly recommend you get some advice on this. Have a talk with someone to help outline, and absolutely have at least one person review it before putting it into your application. I always say choose up to two, but no more to read. After that every single person will want you to change something….so much so…..essays often morph into nothing similar to what you originally wanted to say. Be careful with content changes….embrace grammar corrections and style changes, if they clarify and shorten.
Now many colleges will also require that you have your secondary school send transcripts as well. So you must contact your high school administration to have your transcripts sent to your schools as well. So in essence you need two sets of transcripts for each school: your current college one as well as you high school one.
Be aware that often after you submit, you might not hear until the end of May or even June. So it can be a bit anxious as most college acceptances are sent out before April one. Transfer acceptances can take until mid-June, so do not be surprised if you have not heard back by May. You can and should always follow up every few weeks to ensure all forms were received and are being reviewed. And of course, please know you can contact us for support and help with any part of this process.