Transfer Student Guide

We have put together some helpful insights to ease your transition and maximize your incoming student experience.

By SAGE Scholars — January 1, 2022


Transfer Student Guide

For some college students, the end of the year may mark the time that students transfer universities. Tens of thousands of students transfer every year. In fact, more than a third of college students transfer at least once during their undergraduate degree. Deciding to transfer can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be! Whether you’re looking for more robust community support, thinking about switching to a major not offered at your college or want to be closer to family—students transfer for many reasons. Every college is a little different. If you’re thinking about transferring to our SAGE Scholars member colleges, there are benefits of private education that you’ll want to be aware of to more immediately immerse yourself in the university community. Below you’ll find some helpful insights to ease your transition and maximize your incoming student experience.

Meet With Advisors Ahead of Time

When you transfer, you’ll receive an advisor that can help you navigate your new environment. Especially at private colleges, advisors are more accessible and, generally, deal with fewer students than state schools. Once you have your advisor, make an effort to reach out early and often. Most transfer students make the mistake of waiting until the first week of courses to meet with their advisor. For many reasons, this is not advisable. Your new institution may have required courses that all students must take to graduate. By planning and communicating openly, your advisor can help you to navigate your class schedule, direct you toward opportunities to engage in student life, bring up important information for transfer students, and help to keep you on track amid many changes.

Know What Credits Will Transfer

By keeping open communication with your advisor, you can also determine how to graduate on time. Not all classes will transfer smoothly to your intended college; though this is standard when students transfer, it’s necessary to plan accordingly. You can determine what courses are required and what courses transfer by looking on your intended college website. Before leaving your institution, it’s best to get an official copy of all the courses you took and track down any syllabi or course description documents. This information can help you petition universities to count courses, and some schools also require it to count any courses. It’s best to be prepared

Understand Cost Changes

Make sure that you have a clear understanding of costs, fees, and tuition at your new school. Particularly at our SAGE Scholars Member Institutions, scholarships are offered to students year-round. Make sure to speak with your advisor to learn more about what you might be able to apply for throughout the year or before you even arrive on campus. Private colleges offer a variety of scholarships, financial aid, grants, and loans, especially for transfer students as well.

Familiarize Yourself with Campus

Most transfer students won’t step foot on their new campus before the semester begins. While campus Instagram photos will paint a fantastic picture, the practicality of navigating campus as a new student is stressful. To better understand your new campus community, see if there’s a guided tour that you can hop in on over the summer. Most colleges, particularly private colleges, run campus tours year-round for prospective students. Further, make every effort to attend student orientation. Some private colleges offer transfer student-specific orientation and require you to register for orientation ahead of time. Make sure to clarify these aspects of your transfer student experience with the student life department in advance of arriving for the new semester. Even if you’ve enrolled in college before and know the ropes, attending orientation at your new college is an important part of building community. Orientation not only introduces you to fellow students but can also provide valuable information about campus resources, opportunities to get involved, and provide opportunities to meet faculty members.

Transferring schools doesn’t have to be stressful. If you’re looking to matriculate into our SAGE Scholars member colleges, there are immense benefits—funding and academic—of private education waiting for you. Communication and engagement will ultimately help you navigate your new college experience with ease. For additional tips on how to get involved in your new university community, visit our webpage for additional material.

SAGE Scholars

SAGE Scholars

At SAGE Scholars, we deeply believe in the value and quality of private higher education. Our mission is to provide access to affordable college opportunities while bringing together families, colleges & universities, and benefit providers to create college funding solutions. Since 1995, SAGE Scholars has bridged the gap between students who want a quality private college education and colleges that will work closely with member families to ensure affordability — all at no cost to the families.
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