If you’re planning on transferring to another college or university to continue your college education, follow our guidelines for planning and completing the transfer process. The steps below will make the transfer process easier and hopefully lead to a few scholarships along the way.
Prepare a Strong College Resume
Your college resume has two major parts: your academic performance and your extracurricular activities. You should work to build up both.
GPA and Honors College Certificate:
While your SAT/ACT scores and high school record are important at the freshmen level, your college record will be much more significant as you seek to transfer into university undergraduate programs and earn scholarships. Your GPA is perhaps the most important factor. As an Honors student you already have certain advantages, but it is also recommended that you earn an Honors Certificate. You may also want to try out for the Brain Bowl, Math team, or Model United Nations. Successful team members may earn BC scholarships and are often offered transfer scholarships.
Service and Extracurricular Activities:
Extracurricular activities may play a major role in your scholarship search, especially when you apply for 3rd party funds. Many universities are also placing increasingly more weight on service activities and student organization participation in making financial award decisions. The available opportunities at BC are countless. All Honors students are eligible to join the Honors Student Committee which offers a wealth of activities, including regional and national conferences. Also, Phi Theta Kappa chapters are very active on all three of BC's major campuses. Universities offer scholarships to active organization members and officers. The campus Student Life offices organize many community service projects and help students find service opportunities. Student Life also maintains a list of student organizations like the Honors Student Committee. Becoming involved in community service and volunteer work is usually a rewarding and meaningful experience.
Apply for Admission at Universities
With nearly all college applications, early action is best. If you have decided which colleges you would like to attend, go ahead and apply by the priority deadlines. It is preferable to apply at least nine months before the date when you would begin your studies. Begin collecting recommendation letters even sooner. Applying early is a good idea, even if the university does not make final admission decisions until months later, because you will have extra time to search and apply for scholarships.
Fill Out the FAFSA
The FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and is the most important factor in applying for financial aid, and sometimes scholarships as well. Students must submit a new one each year, and it is essential that you complete the FAFSA as soon as possible the year you plan to transfer. Students may complete the FAFSA as early as January, since some college priority deadlines begin in February. Meeting the financial aid priority deadline guarantees that you will be considered for the maximum amount of financial aid that the university offers.
Some universities require the FAFSA even for scholarship consideration. Likewise, some universities may offer ONLY financial aid, and no merit based scholarships. Very often the FAFSA is the only form that a student needs to complete when applying for financial aid, but do not stop there. Find out if there are additional aid applications at the school of your choice.
Note: International students should check with the financial aid office to see if their status requires completion of the FAFSA.
Look for University Scholarships
After financial aid, university scholarships are your second most important resource. Finding out about the available university scholarships is not usually that difficult, but you will need to set aside some time to carefully review the scholarship information that colleges have sent you as well the university financial aid websites. Search not only for general scholarships, but also for departmental scholarships related to your major. Another resource might be the university's foundation.
As with admission and the FAFSA, early action is key. Start searching for scholarships right after filing your early admission application. It is important to have time not only to find the scholarships, but also to work on the applications when you are not under pressure. Remember that you may need time to gather recommendation letters. For applications that require an essay, you should first write a draft and then come back and revise it after a short break. Repeat this process, refining your essays until you believe that you are sending your best work. Proofread carefully and have others proofread for you as well; spelling/grammar errors weaken your application significantly. Realize that poorly written essays can automatically eliminate you from being considered for many scholarships.
Schedule an Advising Appointment
The last step in the transfer process is to make sure all the t’s are crossed and i’s are dotted by
contacting an advisor. They can go over the final steps of the transfer process so your transition
will be smooth.