Transferring Colleges: Seven Tips for an Easy Transition

Posted: August 26, 2021 | Author: Kierstin Pitcher-Holloway | Read Time: 4 minutes

How to transfer collegesThinking about transferring to a different college or university? If you’re moving because you changed your major, or because your current college just isn’t the right fit, you’ll be entering a different environment than what you’re used to. A change like this requires adjustment and planning. Here are a few tips when transferring colleges to create a smooth, easy transition to your new school.

7 Tips When Transferring Colleges

1. Meet With a College Advisor

Most transfer students wait until the first week of school to talk with an advisor, but by then it’s too late. As a transfer student it helps to plan ahead.

“The best thing you can do is meet with your advisor early and often,” said Kelly Stephens, Academic Advising Center director at Southern Utah University. “They’ll give you the information specific to your new college that you’ll need to succeed as a transfer student.”

Advisors can help you with your class schedule, bring up important information about key classes and help you stay on track. Sign up for an advising appointment at SUU.

2. Know What College Credits will Transfer

Make sure you understand what credits will transfer from your previous school. Not all classes will transfer smoothly, so plan accordingly. Ask your advisor about transfer credit or search the University’s college transfer guide. If you’re worried about classes not transferring, keep a copy of all your course descriptions and syllabi.

If you are transferring between schools in Utah, the Utah Transfer Guide is a tool to help you plan your transfer and should be used along with the information you receive from your transfer advisor.

3. Know What Costs Change When You Transfer

Make sure you understand tuition, fees and other expenses at your new school. Don’t forget there are scholarships, financial aid, grants and loans available for many transfer students. If you’re a non-traditional student, note that there are services provided just for you.

4. Visit the Campus

Visiting a college campus is one of the best ways to find out if it is the right place for you. Most universities offer guided tours. Visit on a day when there is an event so you can meet students and get a feel for student life, and ask current students about majors, clubs and activities. SUU offers personal campus tours.

5. Attend Orientation for Transfer Students

Even if you’ve been enrolled in college before, every university operates differently, so be sure to enroll in orientation. SUU’s in-person transfer student orientation takes place one week before classes begin. Email to reserve your spot. You’ll be introduced to valuable resources across campus, shown how to get involved and provided with other important information.

6. Find Housing That Works for You

When transferring schools it helps to know what your student housing options are. Living in on-campus housing can help you feel more connected to campus, make friends faster, and experience diversity. You’ll also live within walking distance of your classes. Off campus housing can be more affordable, or meet your individual needs better. Whatever route you decide to take, it helps to look sooner than later as the best housing options disappear quickly.

7. Get Involved With the College Campus

If you’ve made the decision to transfer, know that you’re not alone. Tens of thousands of students transfer every year for reasons ranging from cost to social life. According to a report from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, more than a third of college students transfer at least once.
Abby Smith, an education major from Orem, Utah, regrets not being more involved during her first year of college. When she transferred to SUU, she knew she needed to change.

“My first week here I joined several clubs and volunteered to help at activities,” she said. “It made a huge difference. SUU has become my second home.”


Transferring colleges can be daunting, but hopefully knowing these tips for college transfer students will help you feel more confident. It helps to take the process one step at a time. Once you receive your student identification number, you’ll be able to access a personalized checklist of admission requirements that include applying for financial aid, finding housing, paying tuition and other key items necessary for a smooth transition.

Don’t be afraid to reach out to peer mentors or academic advisors if you need help or have questions. Most importantly, be excited about your decision and gear up to have fun.

Tags: Student Campus Resources

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