Lately, I have been fielding a number of questions from and on behalf of college students who are considering transferring to another college. The major concerns are whether admissions/financial aid deadlines have passed, if SAT/ACT scores be needed, and how many credits can be accepted in transfer.
It is important to note that the admissions process and financial aid process for transfer students, although similiar to that for the freshman, does not completely parrallel the freshman cycle. The admissions deadlines for transfer tend to run anytime from April through August for the Fall semester. Some college also accept transfer students for the spring semester. Check with the Admissions Office or Transfer Office for the deadlines. Transfer applicants generally do not need to submit SAT/ACT scores, unless they have earned fewer than an academic year's worth of credits.
College transcripts replace the need for high school transcripts for transfer students. This is good news for students with less than stellar high school grades. College transcripts fill two important roles in the admissions process: 1.) they show how the applicant handles college level academic work and 2.) they are used to determine which credits are acceptable for transfer by the college. Keep in mind that in general credit is accepted only for courses with a grade of C or better. Colleges may limit the number of transfer credits accepted. The Registrar's Office determines what credits are acceptable. Note that the evaluation of transfer credit may not happen until after you have been accepted to the college.
For students who need financial aid to assist with college expenses, it will be necessary to determine the college's financial aid deadline for transfer students, which often will be different than deadlines for freshmen or returning students. Students who had completed the FAFSA for the coming academic year, prior to deciding to transfer need only to update the FAFSA to include the information for the transfer college. It is essential to check with the college to determine if the CSS Profile form is also required.
Stay on top of the deadlines and the forms required and ace the transfer process!