8 Questions Every Transfer College Student Must Ask

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If you poll transfer students about whether making the decision to transfer schools was a difficult choice for them, my guess is that a majority will answer yes. And that includes me!

I wasn’t happy at my previous college, but making the decision to leave my friends and the place I called home for a year was not easy. Little did I know how long and challenging of a process transferring can be. Finding time to visit and apply to schools, while taking five college courses, seemed impossible.

But if you choose the right school to transfer to, like I did when I transferred to Bentley University, all the long hours of researching, visiting and applying to schools is completely worth it.

When you visit colleges as a current college student, you have a better perspective of what you’re looking for in a school and the right questions to ask compared to when you embarked on the search process in high school. Although you may have a better sense of questions to ask, not every student knows what the transfer process truly entails and what questions to ask.

After going through the transfer process myself and helping other transfer students during their journey while working in the Undergraduate Admission Office at Bentley the past three years, I’ve come up with a list of eight questions all transfer students must ask when talking with admissions offers and visiting campuses.

1. Will I Get Housing?

Not all colleges guarantee housing for transfer students, which is why this is a critical question to ask any college. I knew early on that I only wanted to transfer to a school that would provide on-campus housing so that it would be easier to meet people. I was fortunate enough to be placed in a dorm with three other transfer students my first year at Bentley. My roommates and I were all going through the same process, and sticking together made it easier for us to adjust.

2. Will My Credits Transfer?

Of course, the answer for this question varies depending on the institution. Find out how many credits you may lose and how long will it take to make them up. You may have to do your own homework and see which classes may be transferable. Look at the required classes and course descriptions at all the schools you’re applying to, so that you can see if any classes you’ve completed are similar. Ask the maximum number of credits colleges will reward you, since most institutions have a limit.

3. How Will I Meet Other Transfer Students?

This was a question I never thought to ask when I visited schools, but wish I had! It’s important to find out if the school holds a transfer orientation or activities fair, or if there are any other events on campus to help transfer students adjust.

Fortunately, Bentley has both an orientation and seminar class to help transfers adjust to a new school. I loved these programs because I got a good grasp on academics and social life at Bentley early on, while also meeting other students going through the same adjustment.

4. What Are Admission Requirements for Transfer Students?

Believe it or not, the application process for transfer students is often not identical to when you applied to colleges in high school. Most schools require other documents you may not be familiar with, so having a list of the requirements will help you stay on track when you apply.

Learn more about the transfer application process at Bentley.

5. What’s Your Retention Rate?

You want the odds to be in your favor that you won’t have to transfer schools again. If the school’s retention rate is low, consider this a red flag.

The retention rate at Bentley was something that helped me during my decision. Bentley’s retention rate from freshman to sophomore year is 91 percent, which signaled to me that students were happy with their experience.

6. How Many Students Transfer in Each Year?

If you’re worried about being an outsider when you transfer, it may be beneficial to move to a school that welcomes a large number of transfer students each year. I believe I had such a smooth transition to Bentley because I had a group of people I could relate to my first day on campus.

7. Can I Study Abroad?

Studying abroad is becoming more and more popular on college campuses. If this is something you want to experience, be sure that you’ll have the opportunity to do so. And don’t limit yourself to semester programs. Many colleges also have opportunities to go abroad during the summer or breaks.

8. Can I Chat With a Transfer Student?

Get your questions answered straight from the source! Chances are that most colleges can put you in touch with a transfer student who can share their experiences with you. Speaking to a student who went through the same process and hearing their experience may be helpful as you make your decision. Plus, if you end up transferring to that school, you’ll already know someone on campus.

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About The Author

Bentley University, where your education prepares you for a life of interesting challenges and even more interesting ideas and answers. From your first day on campus, you’ll study what makes the world work – fundamentals of business and markets – AND what the world thinks – the broad perspective of the arts and sciences. It’s a powerful combination with limitless opportunity.