How to Transfer Colleges: Q & A with a Transfer Admissions Counselor

by University Relations

Take the next step in your academic journey and learn how to transfer colleges. Sarah Ruiz, a transfer admissions counselor at Azusa Pacific University, provides detailed information about the transfer process, financial aid, and how to immerse yourself into the campus community.

How can I make sure all my units will transfer?

“In order for students to see if and how their courses transfer from their current or previous school(s), we strongly encourage them to start by applying to APU and submitting all their college transcripts. During the application process, a transcript evaluation is created for the student that breaks down if and how their courses transfer to Azusa Pacific. We understand that it can be expensive to order multiple transcripts, which is why we’re able to use unofficial transcripts to create the student’s transcript evaluation. Before applying, students can also use the Transferology website to see if their courses transfer to APU. However, the best way to have transcripts properly evaluated is by going through the application process.”

What financial aid resources are available for transfer students?

“Financial aid can be an intimidating topic, but what I encourage each student to do is see what options are available. The first step is to fill out the FAFSA (the Free Application for Federal Student Aid). The FAFSA allows us to see if each student qualifies for any federal, state, or institutional aid, including scholarships for transfers. Outside of the FAFSA, students also have the option to apply to work on campus working anywhere from 5-30 hours a week. There are also merit-based scholarships available within certain departments, such as music scholarships, athletic scholarships, and so on. And once you’re admitted to APU and become a student, you have access to One Stop, APU’s Undergraduate Enrollment Services Center; they will be the primary resource for any financial aid questions.”

Do you have advice on how to break into an already established community?

“Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. It can be intimidating to start at a new school, but there are more people who may relate to you and your journey than you think! Over the years, Azusa Pacific has become more transfer friendly in many aspects, and APU’s community is enriched by transfer students and the experiences they bring. You’ll get out what you put in during your time here at APU, so don’t be afraid to ask questions and get involved!”

What are some specific ways students can get involved?

“There are numerous ways to get involved on APU’s campus. For example, there are numerous different clubs and organizations offered through our Office of Communiversity. These clubs range from performing arts clubs, social clubs, ethnic organizations, service clubs, academic clubs, athletic clubs, and so on. Students can also get involved by playing an intramural sport on campus, or, if you prefer to watch sports, there are many opportunities to watch our NCAA D2 sports teams throughout the week as well as on the weekends. Other ways to get involved might be through service-learning opportunities where students can give back to the community by serving locally, nationally, or even globally. I could go on and on about opportunities for students to get involved on campus. At the end of the day, you have to be willing and ready to put yourself out there.”

What sets APU apart from other universities?

“I am an alumna of Azusa Pacific, and during my experience as a student, I learned that APU’s community is what sets us apart from other universities. With a student-to-faculty ratio of 11:1 and an average classroom size of 19 students, you won’t feel like just another number in the classroom. The staff and faculty here at APU intentionally want to get to know students to create a sense of community. APU is big enough to where you won’t know everyone walking down Cougar Walk, but it’s also small enough that it’s common to see several familiar faces during your walk across campus. In addition to community, APU is focused on the importance of earning a quality education. Faculty and staff understand that students want to enjoy their time here at APU, but they also want to be employable after they graduate. I encourage every prospective student to visit campus to get a sense if APU’s community is right for them.”