Is It Time to Transfer Colleges? Here's How to Decide
For many college students, transferring between schools is part of the academic experience. In fact, a National Student Clearinghouse Research Center report found that 2 million students transferred in the 2021-22 academic year. So if you’re considering transferring, you’re not alone.
Nevertheless, transferring can be a big decision, and you’ll want to consider several factors as you assess whether it’s the right choice and when the best time to transfer colleges is.
Reasons to Consider a Transfer
Students can face many situations where it makes sense to transfer colleges. Here are a few that might apply to you:
1. You’re Completing Community College
For many students, higher education begins at a community college. This is a great way to complete general education courses while you decide what you want to major in.
2. Your College Isn’t the Right Fit
Not every school is the right match for every student. You might have thought you wanted a school far from home but discovered you missed your family and friends. You might feel out of place if you went from a small high school to a big college or vice versa. Or you might realize you chose a school where students focus more on partying than learning, which doesn’t interest you.
3. You’re Changing Majors
You might have chosen your college with a major in mind, only to realize the field isn’t suitable for you. Another school might be a better fit for the major that does.
4. You’re Having Trouble Getting into the Courses You Need
At some schools, you can get waitlisted for classes required for your degree, which can slow your progress and add years to your degree completion.
5. You’re Looking for a Different Type of Academic Experience
Your current school may have large lecture-style classes, and you realize you’ll get more out of your education with smaller, more intimate classes.
6. You Need More Flexibility
You may discover you need more options for class times, including perhaps remote, hybrid, or night classes.
7. Your Financial Situation Has Changed
With more or less financial resources than when you originally enrolled, your options may also change.
Important Questions to Ask About Transferring
Once you decide to transfer, it’s time to find the right college or university for your needs. Consider asking the following questions when making your choice.
1. How Easy Is It to Transfer?
Choose a school that has a solid process in place to help transfer students apply and get started on their coursework. For example, the Associate Degree Transfer Plan at Azusa Pacific University facilitates the process with a guaranteed pathway that allows students to benefit from an education at APU while finishing their degree. APU also offers a range of opportunities to transfer students, from a traditional on-campus experience to online or regional campus offerings that provide more flexibility for students who need to balance other responsibilities.
2. What Financial Aid Is Available?
Grants, scholarships, loans, and work-study opportunities are vital parts of paying for college. APU’s goal is to award all students the maximum amount of financial aid possible to make their education more affordable. Transfer students are eligible for scholarships of up to $23,000 per year.
3. Will You Get Credit for the Classes You’ve Already Taken?
When you transfer, make sure you get credit for as many classes as you can. APU aims to give transfer students credit for as many courses as possible. You can use Transferology to see which classes can transfer to APU.
4. How Many Credits Do You Need Before You Can Transfer?
While some schools require a certain number of credits or units, APU does not. You can transfer as early as your first year. If you have less than 15 units to transfer, you’ll need to submit your high school transcript as well.
5. When Can You Apply to Your New School?
Once you’ve decided to transfer, you’ll probably want to apply right away. At APU, it’s recommended that you apply by March 1 for the fall semester, but you can apply as late as August 1. For the spring semester, the recommended deadline is October 15 and the final deadline is December 1. Applications are evaluated on a rolling basis so it’s best to apply early.
Learn More About Transferring to APU
Whether you’re a community college graduate looking to transfer your credits toward a four-year degree or an older student ready to return to college after a break, APU can help you earn your degree and launch your career. You can attend transfer events to learn more about studying at the APU main campus and information meetings to learn about bachelor’s completion programs at the regional campuses. Find the major or professional program at APU that’s right for you and continue on your path toward a rewarding future.
Posted: February 28, 2023