Find out what courses you have to take to qualify for an eventual transfer. Ask if you need an associate degree before they allow transfers and, if not, what transfer requirements there are.
Take advantage of the college experiences you’ve already had. Of those courses, which did you enjoy most? What subjects came most easily to you? Knowing where your strengths and interests lie will help you narrow down the list of schools you’re considering transferring to.
If after doing a little self-exploration you still need some direction, take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB). The ASVAB was originally developed to encourage students to increase awareness of their skills and interests and to understand how those skills and interests could translate into military and civilian occupations. However, the current version of the ASVAB is designed to assist all students, whether they are planning on getting a job right out of high school, joining the Military or going to a university, community college or vocational school.
The ASVAB provides you with scores in several different areas that are specifically designed to help you narrow your search for careers (or majors). The results will be provided to you on a summary sheet that not only lets you know how you scored, but also how you compare to other people who took the test. The summary sheet explains each of the scores, what they mean and gives you suggestions on how to proceed.
The ASVAB is only one of the many options available in terms of testing, but – besides being well established and thoroughly tested – the ASVAB is free, which makes it worth looking into.
When preparing for a college transfer, it’s important you consult with your current school advisor. They can set you up with the right courses, help get you the maximum credit and serve as a knowledgeable sounding board for questions.
When considering what schools to apply to, make sure you’re looking at schools where your credits will be transferable. You can usually learn this information by reviewing a school’s catalog, checking online or directly calling the school’s admissions office.
Articulation agreements are programs set up between colleges that break out what’s required for a successful transfer. Many community colleges establish articulation agreements with surrounding schools, and students can use them as a kind of transferring "road map." Check with your current school counselor for details.
Research and evaluate schools you’re interested in, remembering to pay close attention to each school’s transfer policy. Get an application and financial-aid form from each.
Campus visits are so important to the decision-making process. Some colleges have programs through which you can stay overnight with a current student in his or her dorm room. Some schools even offer special transfer-student visit days; so if you haven’t visited the top colleges you’re considering yet, make arrangements. For more tips on campus visits, check out the Campus Visit Checklist.
Make sure to include everything that may be required: College essay, recommendation letters, grades and transfer information. Pay close attention to deadlines and follow up with your current school counselor to make sure your current transcript is sent to each school you’ve applied to.
Scholarships are not limited to entering freshmen. Returning students qualify for many of them. Research online and look to local organizations for opportunities.
Apply for financial aid.
Transfer students can apply for financial aid just like anyone else. Submit a Federal Application for Student Financial Aid (FAFSA) form and get help paying for college.
Choose the college or university that’s right for you and mail in the enrollment form, deposit check and signed financial-aid package.
Once you have decided on the school you want to attend, make sure to inform the other schools that accepted you that you won’t be attending. This frees up a spot for another student.
Sign yourself up for orientation. Figure out where you will be living. Purchase items you will need for your first year. Make travel plans if your school is far away. And schedule your first-semester courses.