Expert Advice on How the Transfer Process Works

How the transfer process works

Making your home at a new college or university can be an intimidating task. Dozens of questions about the transfer process fill your mind, and you’re not exactly sure what to do. Not to fear: expert advice is here to help. Kelly Frank, associate director of admission and transfer counselor at the University of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio, answers the questions you have.

Q. What are the general steps involved in the transfer process?

A. To be considered for admission, students should first send in their transfer applications. Second, they should have their high school and college transcripts sent to the college to which they’re applying. Once they’ve completed those steps, an evaluation of previous credit, along with the admission decision, is made and provided to them.

Q. How early should transfer students begin the process of applying to their school of choice?

A. If students wish to attend classes during the winter semester, they should begin the application process in October. To begin in the fall semester, they should start the process in January.

Q. Typically, how does a student’s GPA transfer to a new university?

A. Grade point average does not transfer. Students must begin their academic careers with a 0.0 GPA.

Q. What are some resources students can use to determine which of their credits will transfer?

A. Sending in a transcript for review by the appropriate department faculty members or admissions advisors is the fastest way to get the answers. Course check sheets, often available in each dean’s office, are helpful resources. Students should visit their university’s Web site for information on credit transfer. 

Q. What are some common mistakes you see transfer students make during their transition? How can these be avoided?

A. Applying too late, missing deadlines, and sending transcripts to the wrong office are common mistakes. Students can avoid these pitfalls by contacting the transfer admissions representative at their university to obtain deadline information and proper application guidelines.

Take the Credit

Meeting with your academic counselors or advisors at the new university you’ll attend is a crucial step in the transfer process. Perhaps the most important subject you’ll discuss is credit transfer. Follow these guidelines to save time and to be sure the course credit you’ve earned will carry over to your new institution.

  • Get in touch with the transfer student advisor to find out what types of course credits will transfer. If possible, ask the appropriate authority at the university to preapprove courses you plan to take for credit transfer.
  • Contact the school you’ll attend to find out what its transfer policy is. Some schools will accept only credits for classes similar to those they offer. Others set a limit to the number of transfer credit hours they’ll allow.
  • Generally, universities require that you obtain at least a C in a class in order for the credit hours to transfer. Grade policies differ among institutions, so be sure to ask.
  • Research whether your community college has an articulation agreement or a collaborative agreement with the university you’d like to attend. Articulation agreements outline specific courses a university will accept from a two-year institution and guarantee admission once the two-year curriculum has been completed. Collaborative agreements may not guarantee admission but will designate courses the school will accept as transfer of credit.


This article was written by Hannah Purnell

Hannah Purnell is a staff writer for Hannah writes extensively on the topic of undergraduate studies and the college search process.


  1. Karen

    Hi. I had a question on how many colleges you can apply to as a transfer student? I am considering two colleges.

    Thank You.

  2. Linda

    I have an associates in Paralegal as of 2003. Im wondering is there a certain time limit that I would be able to transfer over my credits or has that time expired. I heard after 10 yrs your unable to transfer over credits?

  3. Christine

    Hi, I wanted to know if colleges will look at the specific courses you took as in the degree of difficulty. Do they want to see that you’re taking all the hard classes?

  4. Paul

    I am looking to transfer out of Wagner College in Staten Ilsand. I was lied to about a athletic scholarship for football and other small details. I am currently looking now to transfer closter to home and because of these obstacles my academics has suffered the first semester. Now, I am transfering out the first semester and was already accepted at multiple colleges only having to pay between 5-7 thousand a year. Now will my first semester grades come back to affect this?

  5. Kavon

    Can you transfer before your second semester of your Freshman year or do you have to wait untill the end of the year.


  6. Natalie

    I finished my first semester at college, and decided to withdraw, a week into the second. I missed out on the Spring semester at other schools and am not sure what to do. I know I am considered a transfer student, but am still confused. Do I still send my SAT and high school transcript?…

  7. Emalee

    I’m a junior in college and am looking to transfer, do I still need to get my high school transcript? And for how long do they have that on file?

  8. Denise J Hoopes

    How do I get my transcripts transferred to N.C.???

  9. s.thomas

    how do u transfer what is deadline what financial ain n schlorships can u get

  10. dayanara cabrera

    I moved to another state but my mother resides in another state. Can i still fill in my financial aid with my mothers taxes even though i don’t live with her?

  11. Cal

    Can you see other colleges offers before leaving your current school? Can you see if you got in or not before officially leaving your current school?

  12. Jess

    Im a first semester freshman right now looking to transfer for the Spring 2015 semester. How do i send my college transcripts with my admissions application if I wont have those grades until December?

  13. Praveen

    I got my visa approved on CSU.
    As I came to know that Cleveland temperature drops below 0degrees during winter, which will not suits to my body.
    So I wish to transfer to other university before first semester.
    CSU college starts on 6th Jan and other university I wish to transfer starts at 20th Jan.
    How many days before I should come to US for applying transfer.

  14. Cam ricks

    My son plays football bigsky but he’s trying to transfer to pac12 school he set out he’s first year bigsky set in the stands an watched the games the next year he played as a freshman an he also played this year as a sophomore if he transfer is there anyway that he can play he’s junior senior year at pac12 school?

  15. IrishMisfit

    I am taking most of my classes at college A and only one class at community college B. College B class is not doing so well and I am transferring to a new college this spring. If I chose not to send my latest transcript from college B for just this one bad semester, will it still effect my overall GPA for a new school?

  16. Maria Gutierrez

    I am a freshman student at CSUS just finished my 1st semester of college about to start my second semester. I want to transfer as soon as possible closer to home. What are the steps I need to take to transfer and when is the earliest I can transfer.
    thank you

  17. Debbie

    Do I have to apply as a transfer student if I just want to start over? Its been 11 years since I went to college. None of my classes will apply for what I’m going to go to school for. But I’m going to receive a pel grant and I don’t want to lose it for lying about previously attending college. But applying as a beginning freshman is a quicker process.

  18. Ant

    Hi, I am a 32 year old who went back to college in the most intimidated, anxiety filled- mined each and every day. Former Union contractor who is now personally disabled, I am 50 credits from a PSY (covers face, but sticks chest out) BA. Then LSATS, and off to Law School. I get put down and demoralized for both of the majors/fields I have chosen and stuck to my guns about. I am doing well, and I am no longer intimidated by the younger students, especially towards the end of community college in those…annoying 101′s…

    Very, very, informative and helpful read, thank you so much


  19. Beatriz Silvestre

    Can you transfer before your second semester of your Freshman year or do you have to wait untill the end of the year.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.