January 2015 College Application Transfer Tips
For any college students thinking about transferring, you need to be organized and task-oriented. Follow these tips, and you will be alright. It takes patience to make sure you submit each requirement part of a transfer application. Also remember, colleges want happy transfer. So even if you’re not happy at your current college, you need to focus on the positives–your growing academic passions, your activities.
- Send out transcripts. Fall semester is over, and you need to send your official transcripts to many of your colleges. Remember, many colleges want your high school transcripts also. Only send official copies of all transcripts. If you take intercession classes, you need to send those grades also. Those students who did not complete formal high school will also need to submit high school proficiency records.
- Update submitted applications. Many public colleges, especially the University of California, have you update your submitted application with fall grades online. So remember your username and password and sign in and update grades. Check as all campuses do not use the same procedures. If you take intercession classes, you can update those grades also in February.
- Complete applications. Many colleges have spring deadlines beginning in January and going through May. Check with each college’s website and make sure you submit completed applications on time. Spend time perfecting each application.
- Recommendations/Evaluations. Many colleges want to hear from your professors and/or advisors. So you need to connect with people on campus who can write letters for you. This year the Common Application allows you to submit these letters online. Make sure you invite the professor and/or advisor and then assign them to each college on your list.
- College Reports. Some colleges want a separate college report. This form requires an advisor to state that you are in good standing at your current college. The Common Application has this form online. But you can’t do it digitally. You must print it out and have an advisor fill it out. Then you must mail it—yes snail mail, it to your colleges.
- Submit test scores. Also remember, some colleges want your SAT, ACT, and AP test scores. Check with each school as some waive scores after 30 units. Most top colleges still require then. Again only official score reports count, so go track down your usernames and passwords.
- Write great essays. The colleges often have required essays for undergraduate, EOP, and scholarship applications. Write powerful essays about what your accomplishments since high school and your growing academic passions. Tell powerful stories. Make sure you find ways to use essays more than once. Do not tell write boring stories. Also remember, the Common Application has supplemental essays in multiple locations—Member Questions, Writing Supplements, etc.
- Apply for financial aid and scholarships. You need to fill out financial aid applications and submit them as early as possible to the colleges on your transfer list. Remember, many private colleges also use the CSS profile. Students applying to public colleges in California need to submit their FAFSA by March 2. Also go to your transfer office and see if there are any scholarships they have for students like you. Research the Jack Kent Cooke transfer scholarship if you are a top, top student at a community college.
- Keep your spring grades high. Some colleges will want to wait to see your spring grades as you often are taking major pre-requisites or completing core transfer classes. They may even ask for a mid-semester or quarter updates from your instructors. The forms are available online.
- Complete transfer units. Most schools will not allow for summer classes the summer before you transfer, so you need to finish your transfer requirements by the end of spring. That may mean adding a spring class.
- Be patient. Transferring is a challenging process. So be patient. And check and double-check that everything you need is submitted.