For many students, the first stop on their college career is not always their last. Whether you are starting off at a community college or going from one four year institution to another - there is a large population of students that transfer before graduation.
If you are currently enrolled in a community college, take advantages of the resources they offer. Most schools have a transfer department right on campus and they will be able to help you pick a best fit school. Since you already have class experience, you should have more of an idea regarding the type of school you wish to attend, in or out of state, choice of major, etc.You can also use resources such as The College Board's Big Future search to determine what you are or are not looking for in a school. Some community colleges also offer transfer fairs in the fall as well as visits from various colleges so students can speak directly to an admissions counselor.
If you are already attending a 4 year school and would like to transfer somewhere else, you will want to take similar steps. Although a 4 year school may not have the same on campus visits, you will still have an advisor who may be able to help you get the process going.
No matter where you begin you college career, the most important thing is - get involved. Unfortunately four year schools don't have the same pomp & circumstance for transfer students as they do for first time freshmen, but there are still opportunities to start making connections. Sometimes they host an activities fair so you can see different clubs and organizations or you can look for event posters and bulletins to see what is going on. If you live on campus, as friends in your dorm or the RA. Talk about your interests so you can make the most out of your experience!
- Elizabeth Coccia