How to Find the Right College Fit as a Transfer Student

by Ana Felce

When you decide to transfer colleges, you have the opportunity to find a school that helps you work toward your goals. Many students transfer between schools because they have a clear vision of what they want to accomplish, and they are ready for the next step in pursuing their bachelor’s degree.

Whether you’re coming from a community college or simply looking for a different college experience, doing your due diligence will help you find the right college fit to meet your needs! Here are a few steps to take when choosing a new school.

Define Your Ideal College Experience

As a transfer student, there are many many aspects to consider when deciding where to transfer. You might consider the size of the school, its location, educational opportunities, overall environment, and more.

To help decide on a school’s fit, ask questions about the school’s graduation rate, the availability of transfer scholarships, the size of the student population and class sizes, and if articulation agreements or transfer plans are offered to make transfering easier. You may want to ask if the school offers service-learning or experiential learning that provides hands-on experiences to support your goals. Compare your findings with the experience at your current school and other schools you’re considering.

When choosing where to transfer, think about what aspects you’re looking for and consider if the colleges on your list will help make the transfer easier while you work toward your goals.

Get to Know the Campus

Finding a campus where you can envision yourself growing and learning can play a major role in your college experience. Scheduling a campus visit or attending admissions events—either in person or online—can help you get a better feel for how much you’ll feel welcome, valued, and engaged as a transfer student. Many schools also offer transfer events to help you learn about academics, financial aid, and what you can expect from student life on campus.

Peter Lujan, assistant director in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at APU, highlights these events as a way to get to know the school. “The admissions office also hosts a variety of on-campus and virtual events, including the Transfer to APU event where students can learn more about what transferring to APU can look like for them,” he said.

Make a Plan to Successfully Transfer Colleges

Finally, you’ll want to map out a timeline for your transfer. Admissions counselors and university resources like transfer plans can be helpful during the process. You can work with school admissions counselors to create a transfer plan, find out about financial aid, and get help with the next steps in your admissions process.

Counselors can also work with you and your family to discuss program options, opportunities, and outcomes. As a reminder to students interested in joining the APU community, Lujan noted that help is always just a click or phone call away. “The transfer counseling team in the undergraduate admissions office is excited to help prospective students figure out if APU is the right fit for them,” he said.

Do you have additional questions about finding the right college fit or what it takes to transfer to APU? If so, contact the admissions team at admissions@apu.edu or (626) 812-3016.