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There are many valid reasons students want to transfer to another school, including wanting to transition from a community college to a 4-year university or finding an institution that better fits their needs. But just how easy is it to transfer from one school to another?

According to a report from the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), the average rate of admission for a transfer applicant is 62 percent.

While transferring schools may sound complicated or challenging, we’ve compiled some ways to improve your transfer application to boost your chances of admission to the school of your choice.

  1. Be mindful of deadlines.
    It is important to be observant of the college’s transfer deadlines both for admissions and the financial aid process. It may take additional time to collect the necessary documents, so it is important not to leave the application process to the last minute.
  2. Collect all necessary documents and transcripts.
    Colleges typically require an official transcript from every college or university the student has attended, regardless of the age of the credits, number of credits, type of credit, or academic status. This can include transcripts for college-level work completed while in high school, through study abroad and/or reported in transfers from other institutions.

    Failure to disclose all institutions attended, regardless of whether credits were earned or will be transferable, is grounds for rejection or dismissal. On a positive note, if you’re a military member, you won’t want to miss out on any prior learning credit the college may award you for your time in service. Veteran applicants are strongly encouraged to also submit a Joint Services Transcript (JST).Some colleges may require you to submit your high school transcript or GED diploma. High school performance will most likely be considered in the admission decision only for applicants with fewer than 30 college-level credits completed at the point of application.Some colleges might also require an interruption of study statement. If you have taken a break from school excluding summers and school-designated breaks, you might be required to write a statement explaining your activities during that break. Be honest about  how you spent your time when you were not enrolled and know that life and work experiences are not detriments, but rather educational pathways for growth in their own right.

    Make sure you are checking the school’s website to ensure you submit all the necessary documents by the deadlines

    Related: The Letter of Recommendation in College Admissions

  3. Write a stellar application essay.
    Your essay is what gives you a voice in your application, and lets a college see who you are rather than just your grades and test scores. Take the time to craft your essay to make it as engaging and reflective of you as possible.
  4. Review all requirements.
    Many times schools have requirements both to transfer to the school and the specific college and/or program. These requirements might include GPA requirements. Review the website thoroughly and contact your admissions representative for more information.
  5. Connect with your admissions counselor.
    Do your research! Look at the school’s website, attend either in-person or virtual events, reach out to your admissions counselor and express your interest in attending. By interacting with the school, you are able to learn more, pick up helpful admissions tips, and show your interest in the school. 

Want to learn more about available colleges? Check out Peterson’s college search tool for more information.