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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Chapman chapter.

You should know that transferring is a difficult process – and not just because of the application. First, you can only get a certain number of credits to transfer and wherever you decide to transfer to, you will need to complete a minimum of 48 credits at the new school. Moreover, not every class (even your general education courses) is transferable between schools. One of my friends encountered this kind of problem immediately following her transfer to a sister school, thinking that more of her credits would be transferable since the two universities are connected only to discover that the new campus didn’t want to take any of her upper-level classes.

There are lots of other obstacles to overcome if you decide to transfer, like picking the right school and figuring out what will transfer and what won’t. Most of the obstacles are easy (if not a bit tedious), but even if they’re hard, you shouldn’t give up if it’s what you really want to do.

If you have decided, there are four things to remember that should make the transfer process easier:

1. Ask yourself, “What does this school offer students that mine doesn’t?”

This applies to job opportunities, internships, financial aid, potential community involvement, and such. Essentially, what – besides a basic education – does this school offer you specifically? Better classes? The chance to research? More financial aid? Less? If the quality of the pros doesn’t outweigh the cons, it’s probably not a school you should waste time applying to. Transferring, unlike your first round of applications to undergraduate programs, or even graduate programs, is not so much about getting in and getting a degree (because if that were the case, you’d probably be staying where you are). There is no guarantee that you’ll like your roommates or get along with people at the new school, so it’s important to think critically about what it has to offer that your current program doesn’t.

2. Save all of your syllabi from every class/get a copy.

Make sure you have at least one clean copy of each syllabus from all your classes. I saved all of my syllabi in a folder long before I even considered transferring because my first roommate – a transfer student – told me it would be useful and it was. When you transfer, the registrar’s office handles most of the credit transferring. They decide, based on the name of the course and what little information that the school gives them, what will count and what won’t. If you want more of your courses to count, you have to have a copy of your syllabi when you go to meet with your advisor. After transferring, you can make an appointment with your academic advisor or program advisor for help – they usually have the power to talk to the registrar’s office about transferring more credits based on the class information in the syllabus or can lead you to someone who can. When you have a meeting with someone that can help, be sure to show them your syllabi and ask them to help you get as many transferable credits as possible based on the work you’ve already completed at your first school and the course description. I had six extra classes transferred all because I had copies of my syllabi that I could present to my program advisor.

3. Do not, unless absolutely necessary, send paper transcripts.

Order them to be sent via email or online if possible. It’s the digital age and more and more schools are suggesting digital copies be sent in since they’re easier to keep track of and can be shared easily with everyone reviewing your application.

4. Ask your Professors to write letters of recommendation early and push them to get it done.

As soon as you have decided which schools you are applying to, ask a handful of professors to write letters of recommendation. Check back with the professors every other day until the letters have been sent in. This may sound annoying, and kind of is, but having been in a position where my letters of recommendation were sent in long before the due date, while some of my friends had them sent in last minute saved me stress and allowed my professors respite from my bi/tri-weekly questioning.

With these in mind, the process should be a little easier.

*This article is coming from the perspective of transferring from one four-year program to the next, but JC transfers can use these tips too.



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