10 Steps to an Easy Transfer

The Transfer process can be painless and smooth. If you follow these steps carefully and in a timely fashion, transfer, whether to a 4 year college in the Capital District or anywhere in the country, can be smooth. Remember that talking to your advisor is an important part of this process.

1. Identify your area of study

This is vital in choosing a college. If you don’t know what you want to major in then it is time to make an appointment with our career advisor, Dawn Jones, 381-1334 in Career and Employment Services who can assist you with this decision. You can also meet with your advisor for assistance.

2. Always register with “transfer” in mind. Keep your grades up!

When you meet with your advisor each semester, remind him/her that you plan on transferring. This way they can assist you in selecting courses that transfer easily. Your grades are important from the start. Schools look at your grades from all of your semesters so keep them up!

3. Consider the environment that you want at your transfer college

What is important to you in a college or university?
Consider these questions:

  • Location...close to home or not?
  • What schools have the major you want to study?
  • What size school is good for your learning style?
  • Are you interested in a public or private school or either?
  • What is the cost and is there financial aid available?
  • What is the campus setting? Is it rural, city or suburb? Is that good for you?

4. Develop a list of colleges and universities that suit you

A good way to start would be to do some college searches that are available online.

5. Research your colleges of interest

  • With a list of 5-10 colleges begin detailed research by looking at this site which gives world rankings on colleges.
  • Check out the college catalog, viewbooks, etc. online.
  • Talk to your advisor, professors, friends and family about colleges.
  • This is a time when you need to prioritize your desires.
  • Would you be willing to go to a large school if it was financially more appealing? OR Is the size and personal attention most important to you?
  • What are you willing to trade off? Narrow your list to 3-5 schools where you would be happy.

6. Send for catalogs and applications

Many schools have their catalogs and applications online and often times they will waive the application fee online or if you meet with one of the admissions counselors at a college fair or open house. If you graduate from SUNY Schenectady County Community College with an associates degree you can waive the application fee at up to seven SUNY schools.

7. Visit the campus

If at all possible, it is important to visit the campus to get a “feel” for campus life. Is it a good match for you? Take a tour. This is a good time for you to find out information about the school as well as let them know who you are. Look for cues that tell you about the school:

  • Check out the bulletin boards. What is happening on campus? Does it interest you?
  • Visit a class in your major.
  • Visit the cafeteria. How is the food?
  • Visit the dorms if you will live on campus. What is the atmosphere like?
  • Read the college newspaper.
  • Talk to students (even beyond your tour guide) What do they like and dislike?
  • Go to the library. Is it welcoming? Do they have the resources you will need to be successful?
  • If you will commute, how are the services for commuters?
  • Do offices have hours that are convenient for you?

8. Set up an interview

This is a time for you to get to know the school as well as for the Admissions counselors to get to know you.

Think of questions beforehand and write them down!
  • Be on time. Dress neatly but casually
  • Be familiar with the college materials
  • Relax and be yourself
  • Bring a copy of your transcript and ask the interviewer if you could have an estimate on how long it would take you to complete your degree at their school.
  • What grants or scholarships are available for transfer students?
  • What is the average class size?
  • Are advisors available?
  • Is tutoring available and free?

9. Applications, financial aid, transcripts and references

  • Apply online.
  • Apply to 3-5 schools including one safety, one stretch and two matches
  • Have your guidance counselor or the Registrar's Office send your transcripts from your high school and any colleges you have attended
  • Send your FAFSA (and CSS profile if needed) to all the schools. Do this early. The early applicants get most of the financial aid.
  • Personalize your essay to help the admissions committee to get to know you. You can be creative and let the school know what you will bring to them. Present your qualities and strengths. Ask a professor or the writing center look it over before you send it.
  • If references are needed, use professors who know you. Ask them early and provide them with a stamped, addressed envelope to make the task easy

10. Wait and decide

You made it. Relax and wait. Don't forget to send in your deposit once you are accepted. Congratulations!