The New Upperclassmen: How to Successfully Transfer Colleges
College is where you find yourself. At least, that is what most people and the Hollywood Box-office will tell you. Future adulthood friends, future career paths, and the future you – the real, undiscovered you – are all waiting for you once you step into your first college class. But, what about the students who follow along with their college plans only to discover a year or two later that the college, program, or location they are in is not for them? How will they find their true selves at college, when the college they are attending does not feel like the right fit? This feeling of unsettlement is one of the many reasons students decide to transfer colleges.
Transferring to a new college can be a very stressful experience for students. Credit hours, Financial Aid, community involvement, friends, and networking are just some of the many things that transfer students have to worry about when they have officially decided to jump ship. Luckily, there are ways to make sure transferring is as easy and painless as possible.
Before reading the tips below, it is wise for students to keep in mind where they are in their educational journey. If a student is twelve credit hours away from his or her Financial Aid supported diploma, transferring to a new college might not be the best move for his or her future or finances. With that said, here are a few tips to help students successfully transfer to a new college.
Contact the College
College admissions departments do much more than approve or deny applications. Often, the staff in these departments can inform students about how many credits have successfully transferred, how to make sure financial aid is smoothly transferred, and how to accurately calculate how many more classes a student will need now that he or she has transferred. If the staff can’t provide these answers, they will definitely know who can.
Join Clubs and Societies
These college associated clubs and societies are a great way to get to meet other students with similar interests, lives, or goals. There are clubs and societies for most majors and programs. Clubs and societies are also important because the students in these clubs can not only help the process of easing into a new college community but can also provide helpful insider information such as: what classes to take, what teachers to avoid, etc.
Meet Other Transfer Students
Other transfer students are, or have been, in the same place and understand the pressure and anxiety that transferring may cause. These students will understand the hardship of entering a new college with the credits of a junior or senior but the status of a freshman or sophomore. Since transferring is becoming more common, many schools are developing ways for transfer students to find each other.
Attend Career Fairs
The most obvious benefit of this tip is that transfer students might transfer to a college in a completely different town, and they are likely going to need some form of employment. Another benefit is the chance for first time networking in their new college and location. Career-focused students, helpful staff members, and local business people all together in the same room provide many opportunities for transfer students looking to network.
Get a Job or Volunteer
College is not the only place for college students to meet people, network, and learn. Going out into the local community and supporting it through working or volunteering is a great way for students to make an identity for themselves and demonstrate their various interests and talents.
There are many external factors that play into whether transferring colleges is stressful or not, but by using the tips mentioned above transfer students can be sure that they have done all they can to make sure transferring is a success.
By Jennifer M Benjamin