A lot of students transfer schools at least one time within their collegiate career—in fact, 33% of students do, according to NACAC. Transferring schools is no easy task, and shouldn’t be done lightly, but one burning question that potential-transfers have: what will happen to my financial aid?
If you’re hoping that the financial aid will transfer along with you, don’t hold your breath. When you applied to the school you likely filed a FAFSA and had them calculate your financial need. Your original school took that need into consideration when creating your award letter to see how much aid they would give you. Any aid given directly by your original school will not continue as you transfer.
Instead, the new school will calculate the amount of aid they can give you as per their own aid programs. Essentially, you’ll start from scratch when it comes to school-given aid.
So what about federal financial aid? Luckily, certain aid is allowed to transfer with you to your new school—like the Pell grant. More college-based funding—like work study programs—are nontransferable, and will need to be applied to again at the new school.
Private scholarships and grants likely won’t be affected by a transfer, but it’s a good idea to get into contact with the provider if it’s a multi-year award, or if you’re transferring mid-semester. Private loans might also be affected by a school move, so prepare some questions before talking to your provider.
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