Choose A Transfer University

College transfer students can take the freshman and sophomore-level courses at Columbia State, transfer the courses to a senior institution, and then complete the junior and senior years at the university. Students should follow the transfer guide designed specifically for the major and the institution in which they intend to enroll.

It’s never too early to begin planning for a smooth transfer to another institution. The longer you wait to make a decision, the more you risk delaying degree completion. All students are advised to speak with an academic advisor before enrolling in classes.

Our advisors will help you to select a program of study, identify schools and understand the transfer requirements for the degree program at your school of choice. In addition, they'll let you know which Columbia State courses will transfer and help you to create a schedule based on those courses.

1. Gather materials and resources first
Put together a collection of links on the web or access printed college guides from your library or favorite book store. Here are a few places to begin:

    College Affordability Guide
    Peterson's College Search
    U.S. News and World Report College Guide
    College Board
    Tennessee Transfer Pathways
    Graduate Schools
    MBA Programs

2. Consider the size and mission of the institution
Do you prefer a small liberal arts experience or do you prefer a national research institution or something in between? Look for schools that are strong in your major area of study.

3. Look at selectivity of the institution and cost issues
Cost is the bottom line for most people and  a major part of the decision. Consider your ability to pay and the chances for scholarship at the different types of institutions. Research what the average cost is after grants are applied and also look at the average debt at graduation.

4. Consider Geographic Location
Distance from home and family and friends may have an emotional impact. Your quality of life will be affected by the location where you live including its weather, cultural opportunities, and proximity to the things you like doing. There is a big difference between an urban campus in a major metro area, a suburban campus, and a campus in a remote location
5. Consider Graduate or Professional School
Does your career path include the possibility of going on to graduate or professional school? If so, consider how this will affect your undergraduate choices. You may want to transfer to an institution where you want to do graduate study in order to begin making connections there.

Transfer Timeline

Please note that  these guidelines are written for a student who begins in the Fall semester and attends college full-time. Many factors will affect how quickly you will be able to progress and it is important to remember that the guidelines below are general and are intended to give you a basic idea of what you need to do and when. As always, work closely with your advisors and faculty members to make sure you are on the right track.

0-15 credit hours (Fall semester of you Freshman Year)
  1. Learn how to be a successful student first by building strong study habits, test taking skills, note taking skills, research skills, and time management. Focus on maintaining a high G.P.A. Get involved in extracurricular activities to begin building your leadership and group skills in support of future scholarship applications to transfer universities.
  2. Connect with your academic advisor to make sure you are taking the appropriate courses for you tentative major.
  3. Take advantage of your Career Resource Center and begin exploring career options.
  4. Discuss your career and academic interests with your professors and fellow students and gather additional information.
  5. Research the web to explore your academic and career interests.
  6. Contact professionals in your field of interest to further explore your career ideas.
  7. Consider a part-time or volunteer experience to explore your career interests.
16-30 credit hours: (Spring Semester of your Freshman Year)
  1. Although it may seem early, you will need to have chosen your major by the time you complete 30 credit hours of course work. Particularly if you are going into a career that requires a specific academic path like health care, engineering or other licensed professional fields at the undergraduate level.
  2. Begin exploring transfer universities that interest you.
  3. Consider and rank the factors that you consider to be important in making your decision: Quality or selectivity of the school, Cost of the school, Chance for scholarship, Size of the school, Resources of the school, Location of the school, Extracurricular Activities, Graduate School options, and other considerations.
  4. Put together a tentative list of schools that meet your criteria. If you are considering competitive admission schools then you will want to apply to multiple schools to make sure that you gain admission and receive the scholarship you need to attend.
  5. During or at the end of your 30 credit hours you will want to explore the degree requirements of the institutions you are considering for transfer. From this list try to select the most likely scenario and learn their degree requirements so that you can take the appropriate courses prior to your transfer. This is a complicated process and you will need to contact an academic advisor from your transfer institution and meet with your current academic advisor to help you sort out your options.
31-45 credit hours (Fall semester of your Sophomore Year)
  1. You must now begin the application process. Remember that some schools have Fall semester deadlines for scholarships beginning the following Fall semester. Most schools however have an early spring semester deadline for scholarships and applications. So it is important that you have already selected your transfer school and gathered your application materials.
  2. Begin the scholarship application process. Obtain the forms from the transfer university and send transcripts and collect letters of recommendation as needed.
  3. Check your current campus and determine if there are any transfer scholarships that you can apply for there. Seek out scholarships in your community service organizations, honors societies and research the web for other opportunities.
  4. Begin the housing application process and visit any campus you can in order to get a good understanding of your housing options on and off campus.
46-60+ credit hours (Spring semester of your Sophomore Year)
  1. Make sure you are on track to graduate or make a successful transfer from your current institution with your academic advisor. If you are graduating, complete the necessary forms, assessments and request final transcripts to be sent to the transfer university.
  2. If you have applied to multiple universities evaluate each offer and make your decision accordingly once you have been accepted and have received the financial assistance package.
  3. Follow up with an advisor in the department of your major at the transfer institution to make sure you are on track with all the classes you need there in case of any recent curriculum changes.

A Great Place To Start. Invest in Columbia State.

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