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Plan your Transfer

Plan your transfer to a PA TRAC college.

The following is a general timeline to assist you in planning your transfer.

Keep in mind, the process for transferring out of one institution and into another varies at each college. Make sure you are working with both an academic advisor at your current institution and an admissions counselor at the PA TRAC college where you plan to transfer.

When everyone participates in the process, you are less likely to lose credits and more likely to stay on track to a college degree!

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Step One:

Identify your area of study
This is vital in choosing courses each semester as well as a college. If you don't know what you want to major in, then make an appointment with your academic advisor or a counselor in your college's career development center who can assist you with this decision.
Investigate possible transfer institutions
Use PA TRAC to Search for Institutions and review College Profiles. Look for desired features such as cost, location, size, student services, andavailability of distance learning. Ask yourself these questions:
  • What is important to me in a college?
  • Where do I want the college to be located? How far away is the college from my home?
  • Does the college offer my program of study?
  • What size institution is good for my learning style?
  • Do I want to attend a public or private institution?
  • What is the cost? What financial aid is available?
  • What is the campus setting? Is it rural, city, or suburban?
Send for information
Request college catalogs and applications or look for this information online.
Reduce your cost
Begin looking for scholarships, discounts, and other ways to meet costs.
Pay attention to required course sequencing
This is especially important if you plan to earn an associate degree before transferring.
Register with Transfer in mind
Make sure your advisor knows that you plan to transfer, even if you have yet to decide when and where that transfer will occur. That way your advisor can help you select courses that are most likely to transfer with you.
Remember your grades are important from the start
Your transfer GPA is cumulative so work hard and make every grade count.

Step Two:

Select a transfer institution
Tell your current advisor which college or university you have selected. If you are still searching for a transfer institution, consider going to these Internet sites to narrow your choices: College Board and My College Guide.
Research the admissions requirements for the college or university where you plan to transfer
Search catalogs, advising manuals, and websites. Investigate program-specific selection criteria and requirements such as auditions or portfolios and be aware of deadlines that may affect your major of study.
Register for courses that will fulfill your current degree requirements
Meeting the requirements of the degree program at your transfer institution is important. Use the Course Equivalency Guide on PA TRAC to assist you with course selection.
Organized Scheduling
Get to know your chosen transfer institution's academic calendar and deadlines.
Visit the university before you apply
This is a good time to find out information about the institution as well as let them know who you are.
  • Check out the bulletin boards in the buildings. What is happening on campus?
  • Visit a class in your major.
  • Visit the cafeteria. Can you live with the food? Does the food meet your dietary requirements?
  • Visit the residence halls if you plan to live on campus. Are they co-ed by floor or room? What is the atmosphere like?
  • Read the college newspaper.
  • Talk to students (even beyond your tour guide.) What do they like and dislike?
  • Go to the library. Is it welcoming? Do they have the materials you will need?
  • If you will commute, how are the services for commuters? Do offices have hours that are convenient for you?

Step Three:

Transferable Courses
Continue selecting courses that transfer appropriately within your program of study.
Apply for admission
Submit your applications for admission along with all of your official transcripts, and AP and CLEP test scores (if you have any).
  • Even if you know the college you want to attend, you may still want to consider applying to more than one college just to be sure. Many students will apply to at least three or more institutions - one college where you know you will be accepted; one that might be considered a "long shot," and at least two colleges that meet all of your needs but may or may not accept you. Applying to more than one institution will give you choices and that's always a good thing!
  • Depending upon the college and major of study, high school transcripts and test scores such as ACT or SAT may also be required. Check with the Admissions Office before applying.
  • If references are needed, use professors who know you. Ask them early and provide them with a stamped, addressed envelope to make the task easy.
Complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
Make sure to include the institution codes for all of the colleges or universities to which you plan to apply. The key to maximizing financial aid is applying early and meeting all of the deadlines!
Once admitted, send in your deposit and complete specific scholarship applications
Don't forget to apply for housing if needed as that is an extra cost that must be accounted for.
Talk with advisors and academic professionals at your transfer institution
Call ahead for an appointment. Find out if orientation is required and stay up to date on changes to program requirements.
Meet with your current college advisor to discuss future plans
If you are planning to transfer the next semester, find out from your advisor what you need to do to leave your current institution and transfer to another. If you are working toward an associate degree, verify your eligibility to graduate and discuss what you need to do next to earn your degree.

Step Four:

Complete transferable coursework at your current institution
If you do not complete the course you plan to transfer to your new institution for credits, it will not be accepted.
Finish your Degree
If you are earning an associate degree, apply for your degree and for graduation
Send official transcripts at the end of your last semester to your transfer institution
Make sure you do not have any financial or administrative holds that might prohibit your transcript from being sent.
Attend new student orientation sessions or use online orientation tools
Become familiar with your new college or university. Be sure to request maps, directories, tour information and other essentials.
Register for classes
Once you have been accepted, be sure to register for classes at your new institution.