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Transfer Tips

Here’s some insider knowledge on how to make the most of your transfer experience. 

 Explore Your Major

Go beyond the classroom to guarantee you transfer into a program that is right for you.

Take advantage of opportunities to learn more:

  • Attend career fairs on campus and in your community
  • Volunteer or intern at a company or facility of interest
  • Participate in job shadowing programs
  • Set up informational interviews with  professionals in your field of interest
  • Join student clubs and organizations related to your career interests

Your academic and professional interests may evolve during this exploration period, and that’s okay! When you submit your transfer application, you will be more confident that you have applied to the right program for you.

 Consult With Advisors

We all need help from time to time, and advisors are here for just that reason. 

student speaking with an advisor

Schedule an appointment with an academic advisor at your current school to:

  • Register for courses likely to transfer
  • Best maintain a balanced course load to ensure success

Schedule an appointment with a transfer advisor at your current school to:

  • Discover schools that are a good fit
  • Develop a timeline to stay on track for graduation
  • Learn about articulation agreements and transfer partnerships

Finally, reach out to transfer counselors at the schools you’re interested in to:

  • Learn more about the transfer admission process
  • Sign up for campus tour and visit opportunities
  • Get the inside scoop on how to submit the strongest transfer application

 Investigate Articulation Agreements

Articulation agreements are formal agreements or partnerships between two colleges which outline the transfer policies for a specific academic program or degree.

These partnerships usually make the transition easier for students by providing a checklist of what courses should be taken to satisfy degree requirements while attending a community college. 

Some schools may have stipulations that are important to know about early on. For example, students may need to:

  • Achieve a minimum GPA
  • Earn minimum grades in certain courses
  • Complete their degree within a certain time frame

If you know a school has an articulation agreement,read the agreement thoroughly and contact the transfer institution with any questions.. 

 Strengthen Your Application 

There is no such thing as providing too much information on your transfer application.

student with laptop

It’s completely fine to add the following to your application, even when not required:

  • Resume
  • Personal essay
  • Professional goal statement
  • Writing sample or research project summary

Highlight all of the accomplishments that make you stand out, especially if they are pertinent to your program.

You are also encouraged to acknowledge inconsistencies on your application. For example, if you withdraw from a course, or received a grade that you feel is not reflective of your work ethic, be proactive and explain the circumstances in a written essay. If there was a period of time during which you were not enrolled in college courses, describe what you were doing during this time period. This will give the admissions committee a better idea of who you are, and may enable them to make an admission decision sooner. Also keep in mind that you do not have to provide any information that you feel uncomfortable sharing. 

 Make Connections with Mentors 

Your professors are here not only to teach you, but to act as mentors and foster your success. 

student speaking with a mentor

Many will be happy to sit down with you to:

  • Discuss your academic and professional ambitions
  • Provide guidance on how to achieve your goals
  • Write a letter of recommendation for your transfer application

Ask your professor to highlight why you are a good candidate for your program of interest and provide specific examples of your achievements in and outside of the classroom. If possible, submit a letter of recommendation from a professor who teaches a subject related to your program of interest. 

If you have had experiences outside of the classroom, reach out to mentors for recommendations. Ask someone who can speak to how your experiences interning, working, or shadowing have contributed to your knowledge in the field, and make you a competitive applicant for the program.

 Join Honors Societies

You have spent your time in college so far working hard, and deserve to be recognized for your efforts!

If you are invited to join Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), the world’s largest and most prestigious honors society for two-year college students, take advantage of this opportunity. PTK membership is an impressive accomplishment and demonstrates commitment to excellence, leadership, and scholarship. 

There may also be discipline-specific honors societies that you can join, such as a STEM related honors society.  If you are studying at a four-year institution, look into joining Phi Beta Kappa or other honors societies to add an impressive aspect to your application.

 Follow Up

Following up is key to a timely admissions decision. 

student looking at laptopAfter submitting your transfer application, follow up with the transfer institution within 2-3 days to ensure:

  • Your application has been marked received
  • You are aware of supplemental documents that may be required
  • The preferred method of delivery for transcripts (electronic vs. standard mail)
  • The correct mailing and email addresses for document delivery

Most importantly, follow up again about two weeks after you request all your transcripts and supplemental items to make sure the transfer institution received them. Transfer admission counselors want you to follow up—you are not bothering them!

 Assess The Cost of Application

Applying to multiple schools can be costly. Cut down on costs where you can.

Be prepared to budget for expenses such as:

  • Application fees
  • College and high school transcript fees

It may be more cost effective to order electronic transcripts, so check before having them mailed. Most colleges will not release transcripts if you have any financial holds on your account, so ensure that you have no holds before you begin to apply. 

Submit your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible! Your financial aid package will be prepared after you are accepted only if your FAFSA has been submitted correctly and on time. It can take several weeks for financial aid packages to be processed even when everything is submitted on time. Give yourself time to apply for private loans or scholarships if necessary to help secure additional funding. 

Finally, find out the total amount of additional fees or costs after acceptance such as:

  • Enrollment deposit*
  • On-campus housing deposit
  • Rent and utilities for off-campus housing
  • Room and board
  • Immunization fees, lab equipment fees, transportation costs, textbooks, etc.

*Enrollment deposits are usually built into the cost of tuition, but many times they are non-refundable. Some schools may be able to extend the enrollment deposit deadline if you are still waiting to hear back from other schools as the deadline approaches. 

 Understand Transfer Shock

USciences understands that transfer shock happens, and we are here to support you.

Have you heard of “transfer shock”? Transfer shock is a common phenomena when students who transfer from one higher education institution to another experience a decline in grades during their first or second semester at the new school. This is usually temporary, and can be due to different academic, social, and environmental factors. 

Some ways to prepare for and get ahead of transfer shock are:

  • Attend transfer orientation programming at your new school
  • Meet with your academic or program advisor to discuss your academic goals
  • Be aware of counseling or mental health service offerings
  • Learn which academic support services are available to you

USciences offers a wide range of services to help you improve your skills as a student and become a successful, independent learner. We work with faculty and other student support staff to ensure that you receive the best help we can offer. All of our academic support services are free for matriculating undergraduate students.

 Get Involved

One of the best ways to ease the transition to your new school is to get involved on campus.

student involved with a fraternityMost schools have an organization fair at the start of the semester, which showcases all the different clubs you can join.  Even if you only have time in your schedule to join one group, you will make connections on campus.

USciences students work hard, but also know how to relax and have fun! We have over 90 clubs and organizations, from arts and cultural groups, to fraternities and sororities. We even have a special group for transfer students called Transfer Student Ambassadors. This group trains individuals to give campus tours to prospective students and help out with admissions events. There is something for everyone, and if USciences does not offer a club of interest, you can start your own! We can’t wait to welcome you to the USciences campus community. 

More Information

Get your questions answered during the USciences’ Transfer Tips Webinar Series on Tuesday, September 29, Tuesday, October 27, and Tuesday, December 1, 2020.

USciences’ transfer admission team is here to help you at every step of your transfer experience. To make an appointment with your transfer admission counselor, email transfer@usciences.edu or call 215-596-8810.

Address:

Admission Office 
Whitecar Hall, Room 2707
600 South 43rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-4495

Phone:

888-996-8747

Email:

admit@usciences.edu