Valuable Advice For College Transfers
by Howard Freedman
Copyright 2019 Financial Aid Consulting. All rights reserved. No portion of this article may be reproduced mechanically, electronically, by photocopying or by any other means without expressed written permission of the author.
Howard can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Moving on to a college offering a bachelor's degree program is an exciting journey with new challenges and opportunities that require thoughtful preparation and the right levels of support to ensure a smoother transition. Her is how it should be done.
It is also the time for forging ahead into a more rigorous academic environment offering college majors that will pave the way to rewarding career paths. Understanding and coping with a much different academic and social environment will not be easy but can be more bearable when students plan ahead and utilize the right counseling and support resources to make it a more pleasant journey.
College counseling services can help with course selections, majors, monitor academic progress and suggest mentoring programs if needed. They can also provide practical advice about getting things done when it is best to select and enroll in classes and research course and professor ratings. Students should research their major (www.mymajors.com), required and elective courses and clarify which credits are transferable. This should be done well in advance of the transfer especially when required or remedial classes may be offered at less expensive community or state colleges. Most importantly, they should be well prepared by knowing their interests, majors, researching course requirements and prerequisites in order to make better use of their counselor’s time and more focused on the decisions that they will be empowered to make.
Testing: Students still unsure of their major should seek advice regarding aptitudes and skills assessment testing along with personality and skills inventories. Transfer students should also become familiar with academic testing policies, and study groups to improve their grades. Research if most tests are take home, open book, project driven, essay, multiple choice, true and false as each student may fare differently in certain test environments. Some grades can also be based on team projects, case studies, and presentations depending on the college and major.
Other Counseling: Many colleges also offer other forms of counseling to help students to deal with stressors like test taking, studying, subject-specific tutoring, learning skills and disabilities, depression, competition, panic disorders, or act as resources with whom the student can vent. Obtaining the needed college or private counseling and or mentoring is not a sign of weakness but the best way of recognizing problems and seeking the right resources for resolving them in a professional way.
Reconnect With the University-It is best to refer to notes from initial campus visit while in high school or develop a campus checklist to revisit the campus from which the student will earn their bachelor’s degree. This is because a student’s academic status and interests have changed along with the admissions policies for transfer students. Transfer students should follow-up with fellow high school classmates that are attending the same college to which they are transferring since they are already acclimated and can help the newly entering student to do the same. They can help arrange for classes to attend, stay in a dorm, attend social gatherings and make introductions to other students to make that can make the student feel more welcome.
Money management should always be of concern since students will incur increased tuition costs, fees, book, and personal expenses. It is always best to prepare a budget beforehand to detail the costs and sources of funding. Although the financial aid award will detail net costs, it is helpful to discuss loans, work-study, and payment plans to ensure that any existing loans from the first two years in college do not go into repayment mode if the lender is unaware of the transfer. Understand how student loans work https://studentaid.ed.gov/types/loans especially how and when they are repaid in relation to alternative loans that may be needed for the first time. Managing loans effectively improves future borrowing opportunities, especially after graduation.
Living arrangements-It is always best to decide whether on or campus housing works best. Quantify costs and interview roommates to ensure compatibility and resolve any differences. Students should know their study habits, how well they deal with distractions, overall values and vices and how responsibilities are shared to ensure comfortable and tolerable living arrangements.
Social Interaction-Transfer students should research clubs, organizations and outside activities before transferring. This allows them to make some initial contacts and feel involved from the start. Gaining a feeling of involvement and participation will take the edge off of things and help to develop new associations and university ties.
Being prepared by getting the facts and best advice will be well worth the effort on the way to a hard-earned bachelor’s degree. In the words of Abraham Lincoln:
“I will prepare and some day my chance will come.”
Learn valuable information before your college transfer