There’s plenty going on in your head when transferring and it can seem overwhelming. Pause for a second and take a deep breath. Before moving forward any further, get yourself in order. List out all of the due dates for transfer applications, the required components for each application (like personal statement, essay, and resume), as well as all of the forms you need to gather together.
To help you get started, here’s a list of the most common forms requested for in the transfer application process, how you can begin looking for them, and associated costs.
Full Articulation Agreement Guidelines (If Applicable)
When considering transferring, the first thing you should always do is chat with your academic counselor or someone in the admissions office. They’ll know if your current institution has any articulation agreements and with what schools. Acquire that list, the stipulations for each, and see if one of them could be your match!
Official College Transcript
Each college is going to handle transcript requests a bit differently, so check your college website to see if there’s anything available there. If not, speak to your academic counselor about the process.
While you’re at it, it would be handy to have a list of all the classes you’ve taken, the grades you’ve gotten in each, and descriptions of the course material covered in each. Since this aspect is mostly for your eyes and to work with a transfer admission counselor, it can be an unofficial document. If your college uses an online portal, you might even be able to print off something close to what you need by signing in there!
Official High School Transcript
Each high school handles their official transcripts differently, so your first (and best) bet is to check your high school’s website. Honestly, start by entering “[high school name] transcripts” into a search bar.
Some high schools have moved this service out to a third party, such as Parchment, which can be cool because they offer things like real-time status of your transcript and alerts when it’s delivered, but it typically also costs a higher fee.
If you can’t find information about transcripts on your high school website, give the administration office a call and find out what the protocol is for getting and sending out your high school transcripts.
Letters of Recommendation
Every college’s application is going to look a little bit different, but odds are that they’re going to want some letters of recommendation. You may automatically be reaching for the letters your high school teachers wrote, but those aren’t going to offer much weight here.
It may feel weird to ask your current college professors for recommendations to attend another college, but the majority of educators simply want to see their students thrive. Chances are, if you’re asking that professor for a recommendation, they’re not the reason you’re leaving anyway.
Always make sure to express your appreciation and give them ample time to write the recommendation. The same rules from asking for recommendation in high school apply in college!
Standardized Test Scores (ACT/SAT)
While we’ve already spoken about how standardized test scores don’t carry the same merit they did when moving from high school to college, colleges still want this information for reference.
Getting these numbers comes with a bit of charge though.
To get your ACT scores, you’ll want to head over to the “Sending Your Scores” page. If you took your test pre-September 1st, 2017, it costs $38 dollars to send out, but if you took your test post-September 1st, 2017, it’s $13. Keep in mind that this is per test date per report. So each college these scores needs to go to will cost you more. As far the ACT website shows, there is no fee waiver available.
Example: Cindy wants to complete three transfer applications and needs to send her ACT scores to those three schools. Since she took her test in the Fall 2018, it costs $13 dollars times three, totaling out at $39 dollars.
Make sure you put in your request online — if you call to request it, you’ll be charged a $15 dollar fee on top of the “per test date per report” fees. Also, make sure you have the following information to submit the request:
Test Date (month/year)
Valid codes and names of up to 8 schools (within US only), including city and state/province of each institution
Credit card and valid information
For the SAT, you’ll find there’s a similar process. Scroll to the bottom of their “Fees” page and you’ll see “Fees for Additional Scores Services.”
For newer scores, outside of the standard that come with the test, it’s $12 dollars per report. For older tests, it costs $31, however, they don’t say what constitutes as an “older” report. While those costs vary only slightly in comparison to those for the ACT, there is one large difference: fee waiver.
Students eligible for fee waivers have access to unlimited score reports sent to colleges, free CSS Profile applications to apply for financial aid from participating schools, and even waived application fees at participating colleges. Check your eligibility and make sure that you take advantage of these benefits!
The Conclusion/Word of Affirmation
Transferring isn’t an easy process, but it’s totally worth it to attend a college or university that fits what you need. Whether you’re looking for more of an academic challenge, smaller classes, or different departmental opportunities, you’ll look back on this process and say it was worth it.
Organize your applications, stay on top of all of the necessary components, and you can totally crush this transfer application process!