Flickr user Dave Crosby

Students apply for transfers for a wide variety of reasons. Some may find that their present school does not offer them the challenge they thought they’d find. Others may have developed an interest in a subject not offered by their current college. Whatever the reason you wish to apply for a transfer, it is crucial to be prepared.

Do: Make A Case For Why You Want To Transfer

The college you wish to transfer to will want to know why you want to leave your current school and why you wish to enroll in their particular school. How you answer these two questions can make or break your transfer application.

Whether you wish to transfer because you wish to pursue a program not offered by your current school, or you are looking for a more challenging academic program, your answer should be compelling enough to demonstrate that you have spent significant time on self-reflection and are sure about your choices.

Also take time to do extensive research into the college you wish to transfer to so you can provide a convincing and specific explanation about why you wish to enroll in their school.

Don’t: Complain About Your Current School

No matter how much you dislike your current school, it’s best to keep it to yourself. Definitely avoid any negative comments or complaints about your current school when explaining why you think the college you are applying to is a better fit. By way of explanation, all you need to offer is that you thought the school was right for you but your needs have changed. Taking ownership for your decisions, whether right or wrong, shows a sense of maturity—an attribute that college authorities appreciate.

Do: Take Your Application Seriously

Don’t presume that any college would be happy to accept you just because you’ve got good grades in your freshman or sophomore years. Good grades are just one part of your transfer application. The college you are applying to will want to know more about your extracurriculars and they will assess your personal essay using the same standards as all other applicants. Take time to work on your personal essay and put together an impressive application that convinces the reader that you will be an asset to their institution.

Don’t: Wait Till Junior Year To Apply For A Transfer

Most colleges prefer and some require that students spend at least two years at their institution so if you are planning on applying for a transfer, it is best to submit your application at the end of your freshman or sophomore year. Your chances of acceptance may be significantly lower once you get to junior year.

Do: Keep Track Of Transfer Deadlines

The specific timeline may vary from one college to another but usually transfer deadlines for fall admission are sometime in March-April and deadlines for spring admission are in November. If you are applying to multiple colleges, keep track of each school’s deadline and make sure you give yourself plenty of time to work on your application and submit it on time.

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