Help for Transfer Students
Students in the process of transitioning from one school to another face a unique set of challenges, such as transferring credits, securing financial aid, and dealing with academic requirements. Every school provides some support for transfer students as they navigate the admission and enrollment processes. Some schools feature student centers or other highly specialized services targeted directly to transfer students. Examples of those services include social events, workshops, special academic support, housing information, and financial aid opportunities specific to transfer students.
The 15 schools listed below have programs and services designed to help transfer students thrive. No matter what school you choose, be sure to contact the admissions office to get the most updated information regarding the transfer process.
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15 of The Best Schools for Transfer Students
Saint Louis University
This campus offers a transfer-focused orientation, TRANSFERmation, featuring social events and mentorship from former transfer students. The program is designed to help new students make a seamless transition to life at SLU. There is also a class that helps transfer students during their first semester on campus (http://www.slu.edu/transfer-student-experience).
Clemson offers a transfer-focused housing community, where transfer students live together and receive academic support. Additionally, a transfer council represents the transfer student voice in student government, and the school hosts a special web portal to keep students informed during the transfer process (http://www.clemson.edu/accepted-students/transfer-programs).
University of California - Los Angeles (UCLA)
UCLA offers a joint volunteer project during its orientation for transfer and first-year students. Students build rapport while working together to support the child life program at UCLA's affiliated hospital. Following orientation, students maintain their connection to each other and the university through participation in the Bruin Transfer Camp (http://www.newstudents.ucla.edu/transferstudents.htm).
University of Michigan
This school emphasizes a one-on-one approach in its support for transfer students. Newly accepted transfer students are encouraged to enroll in Transfer Connections - paired with specially trained current students, transfers learn directly about all U of M has to offer. The transfer student office also publishes a monthly newsletter (http://www.onsp.umich.edu/transfer_students/mentorship).
Transfer students at American are paired with current students, and these pairs connect to support various non-profits in Washington, DC. Following orientation 'Welcome Week', the campus offers weekly sessions designed to support transfers, as well as an honors society for academically successful transfers (http://www.american.edu/ocl/orientation/Transfer-Transitions.cfm).
University at Buffalo
The university's Educational Opportunity Program is open to qualified transfer students, helping them find support and comfort. The campus also supports peer mentoring and a transfer-only honor society (http://transfer.buffalo.edu/specialclubs.php).
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The flagship campus of the North Carolina system, UNC offers extensive support to students making the transition from community colleges. The Carolina Student Transfer Excellence Program (C-STEP) identifies academically talented students from 2-year colleges and supports them on both campuses. The school also helps qualified C-STEP students graduate with low or zero student loan debt. Transfer student can go online to determine which of their current credits will transfer before they decide to apply (http://admissions.unc.edu/apply/transfer-students/carolina-student-transfer-excellence-program-c-step/).
The University of Utah
New members of the Utes family can trade-in t-shirts and other material from their old schools and receive University of Utah t-shirts on Transfer Tuesdays! As the year progresses, transfer students who attend the weekly meetings learn about campus resources, scholarships, and other important issues (http://orientation.utah.edu/transfer/index.php).
Portland State University
PSU hosts a virtual home for transfer students leading them through every part of the admissions and registration processes. Students can use the online center to gain information about each step of the transfer process; they can also apply and live chat with representatives. An online degree audit program called uSelect allows students to get information about PSU degree programs and transfer credits before enrolling (http://pdx.edu/transferstudent/).
New York University (NYU)
Transfer students at NYU can anticipate unique challenges as they transition to both the school and New York City. The campus hosts a Student Resource Center, through which transfer students can join their own Facebook group, request a mentor, participate in a student-run transfer student association, and join a dedicated listserv to receive a weekly newsletter (http://www.nyu.edu/students/undergraduates/student-communities/transfertransitioning.html).
University of North Texas
A comprehensive web community links transfer students with all UNT has to offer. Students can get comprehensive, creative information about how to transfer and be successful. The site hosts a live chat function and can be highly personalized to address each student's situation (http://transfernow.unt.edu/).
The University of Arizona
Arizona hosts a transfer student center that helps guide transfer students through the admissions process. The school also has an association specifically for transfer students and hosts a chapter of Tau Sigma Beta Omega, a transfer student honor society (http://admissions.arizona.edu/transfer).
University of Central Florida
Transfer students can live in specialized housing and join the Transfer Knights, an organization designed to help them transition to life at UCF. The campus recognizes that transfer students are more likely to succeed when they get involved with campus life. Transfer Knights seeks to be a bridge for new students and give them a 'first class experience' (http://transfer.sdes.ucf.edu/).
Bowling Green State University
Bowling Green offers extensive scholarships for transfer students. In addition, the state of Ohio has developed the Transfer Module, making it easier for students who begin at other Ohio colleges and universities to transfer. Students are encouraged to 'Finish What You Started' through mentorship and orientation programming (http://www.bgsu.edu/offices/ntss/).
The College of William and Mary
Transfer students at this school benefit from a designated Associate Dean of Students. The dean holds regular open office hours and often eats lunch with transfer students. Through his office, transfer students can access orientation, tutoring, and credit evaluation services designed to promote their success (http://www.wm.edu/offices/deanofstudents/services/transfer/index.php).
Think carefully about whether transferring is a good idea before taking the plunge.