Looking back at my transfer process, there are several things that I wish someone had told me. Having never transferred before, I was pretty oblivious to the process, even though I did a lot of research. I hope that at least one of these facts will ease your transfer experience:
As soon as you realize you might want to transfer, look into dual admissions agreements. This primarily applies if you’re transferring out of a 2-year or community college. Dual admissions agreements can grant you admission into participating colleges after you finish an associate’s degree, and even guarantee you junior status. Each participating school has a different deadline for when you need to file for dual admission, so do your research to find out when you need to make your decision by. Some deadlines require you to submit the form before you earn 30 credits, so start planning early!
Under dual admissions agreements, some schools also offer core-to-core. Core-to-core is this amazing agreement in which your core classes at your current college can satisfy the core requirements at the college you transfer into. Before transferring, I didn’t give core-to-core much thought. However, having transferred, this is the number one thing I wish I had paid more attention to! After transferring (to a school that did not have core-to-core agreements with my 2-year college), I was required to take their core classes which, understandably, their freshmen were taking as well. This leads me to my next point about transferring:
By taking classes with freshmen at my new college, I was able to make friends with other new students that didn’t know anyone else on campus yet either (even if they were five years younger than me…). However, the downside of this was that I was placed in a weird spot— I was new on campus like freshmen, but had the college experience of juniors and seniors. For some reason, I assumed that it would be easy to transfer into my new college and quickly bond with other juniors and seniors. In reality, because I didn’t have classes with them, I barely interacted with them, making it hard to become friends with people my age. I believe that the transition to a new college would have been easier if I hadn’t needed to take core classes during my first semester.
I also think that transferring would have been easier if, somehow, my experiences at my 2-year college were considered equal to the experiences acquired by students at the 4-year college. I held several president and vice-president positions as a sophomore, but after transferring I felt that I had to start from the bottom again. Luckily, I was aware this might happen, thanks to this article by the Student Affairs Collective. Unfortunately, knowing the problem exists didn’t make it easier.
Lastly, the biggest and most frustrating thing about the application process was how college admissions made me (and every transfer student I’ve talked to) feel like second-best after freshmen. Learn more about this problem in this post.
How did you handle the transition as a college transfer student?
– Sarah C.