Congratulations, you’ve just been accepted into the college you plan on transferring to! But slow down – just because you’ve been accepted, doesn’t mean you’re ready to pack up your bags and leave. I’m constantly stressing over whether or not I’ll meet the millions of deadlines I have stretched across my calendar, but after a few missteps I finally have my head screwed on tight. The next couple of things you need to do might feel like a pain in the butt now, but you’ll come to understand the significance of each step. Here are some tips/things to keep in mind before you’re actually all set to go.
1. Don’t Stop Caring About Your Grades.
By the end of the semester, you probably feel tempted to stop caring about your grades because you have that “I’m out of here” mentality, but the truth is, your grades right now still count. Typically, your GPA resets after transferring to a new college, but your new school will still have your transcripts from the first year. I say this because how well you do can affect if you get the credits from that class (e.g. some colleges won’t take credits from a course you received less than a “C” in). Even though you get a fresh start with your GPA, the credits are what matter the most.
2. You’re Not Officially Enrolled Yet.
When I say officially, I mean you still have to pay the enrollment deposit. But before you start entering your credit card number, you should make sure this is the college you’re 100% going to. Ask yourself the following: Did the school give me enough financial aid? Does it have the major I want? Are the facilities nice? Did I remember to send in final transcripts? These are just a few questions to consider before you send your enrollment deposit, because once you do, it can be a real pain to get your money back should you decide to go elsewhere.
3. Applying for Financial Aid.
If the first words that came out of your mouth were along the lines of, “UGH not this again,” after reading this heading, then I echo your sentiments. You already should’ve started applying for financial aid yesterday; this is just another reminder. Applying for financial aid to another school is just as the same as it would be if you were applying as a high school senior, which means you have to redo loan counseling, exit counseling, and sign promissory notes.
4. Contact Your College
There are a lot of questions the “help” section of a college website can’t answer. What if you don’t know what classes to choose? Contact the school directly. I personally think email takes too long, so I suggest calling instead and speaking with the right people. Answering any questions you have is especially pivotal in this stage because, at this point, you should’ve taken care of all the technical stuff and the next step is probably first day of classes.
5. Booking the Plane Ticket (Out-of-Staters Only)
In the fall I’m moving from Quincy, MA all the way to San Francisco to attend my new school, and unless I want to drive for two days straight I’m going to have to take a plane. For anyone moving to a new state that can’t be driven to, you should book your plane ticket right now! Plane tickets are always cheapest if you book a couple of months beforehand. If you wait until the last week or so the prices are going to be way higher than what you saw them for two or three months ago.
Transferring is both very exciting and stressful; it’s like being a freshman all over again. Just keep of checklist of everything that needs to be done and remember these tips before you leave, and I guarantee you’ll have a smooth transition.