Steps to a Successful Transfer
1. Choose an area of study/transfer major as soon as possibleYou should choose a transfer major as soon as possible as most 4-year college/university majors have prerequisites or requirements that should be completed during your first two years of college. To make the most of your time and to make it more likely that you'll finish your Bachelor's Degree in 4 years it is essential to choose a field of study/major.
- Explore classes that sound interesting. Take classes in different areas to find out what specialties might interest you.
- Try these useful Major Exploration Websites (http://www.northseattle.edu/services/transfer/uinfo.htm#exploration).
- Choose Your Major (http://www.washington.edu/uaa/gateway/advising/majors/intro.php).
- Meet with your academic advisor and career planning specialist to explore your skills and career interests.
- Once you have found an area of study, meet with your academic advisor to determine prerequisites required for transfer, contact the education program at your transfer institution and develop your Educational Plan. An Educational Plan helps you map out future coursework that you will need to fulfill your transfer degree requirements and help you meet major prerequisites and admissions requirements of your chosen college/university.
2. Decide where to applyStart by researching institutions that have the majors that interest you. Decide what type of college/university you'd like to attend, taking into consideration size of the student body, diversity, special student services, public vs. private, religious affiliation, cost and student-to-faculty ratio.
- Visit the Career/Counseling Center. We have a variety of information on universities/colleges, transfer guides and information on majors/areas of study.
- Use the internet to explore College/University Transfer Information (http://www.northseattle.edu/services/transfer/uinfo.htm).
- Take advantage of College/University Representatives who visit CC on a quarterly basis. CC hosts fall, winter and spring Transfer Fairs and smaller Majors Fairs where many representatives are available to answer admissions and program questions. Have at least three schools chosen that you would like to explore more in depth. For upcoming fairs and events, visit Transfer Events (in development).
- Visit the colleges/universities that interest you. Take a tour. Go to scheduled Open Houses and Information Sessions.
- Contact admissions advisors and your academic advisor to gather information about GPA, Foreign Language Requirements, general education and specific coursework that are required for admission.
- Hint: It is extremely important to work with an academic advisor to set up an Educational Plan that will map out the academic classes needed to complete your transfer degree while also preparing for your major.
3. Application procedure
- Pay attention to College/University application deadlines and plan accordingly (http://www.northseattle.edu/services/transfer/uinfo.htm#deadlines).
- It is also important to pay attention to major or department deadlines. You may have to apply to the college/university as well as to the major or department. In most cases, you will have to be accepted to the university before the department will accept you.
- Most applications require an application fee, most are around $35.
- Online and paper applications. Most colleges/universities allow you to apply online, which is a quicker method. If you choose to use a paper application make sure that your handwriting is legible and that the copy that you turn in is professional-looking.
- Start gathering your official transcripts from high school and each college/university attended. Many schools have small fees and a short processing time for printing official transcripts.
- Are letters of recommendation required? If so, begin asking your instructors, counselors, advisors or others right away for the recommendation. Usually, people require 1-2 weeks advance notice so that they have the time to write a thoughtful and detailed letter.
- A personal statement may or may not be required by every college/university you are applying to, but it is always a good idea to include one. A personal statement is a very important part of your application packet and one that deserves a great deal of attention. See Writing a Personal Statement for help with this process. (http://www.northseattle.edu/services/transfer/statement.htm)
- Make sure you have included all needed documents in your application packet. Incomplete applications may delay the process or result in denial to the university due to missing the deadline date.
- Keep a copy of all included materials for your records.
- Turn in your application as early as possible. Although many institutions have deadline dates they prefer and may actually prioritize application materials that they receive before the application deadline date. Check with each university to ascertain that all materials have been received and to make sure there is no missing documentation.
4. Financial aid and scholarships
- You must apply for financial aid every year. Financial aid can include grants, low-interest rate or specially guaranteed student loans. To apply, complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid form (FAFSA) after January 1st. Do not delay this process. Regardless of your institution's priority application deadline dates, apply for financial aid as soon as possible after January 1st. If you have any questions regarding FAFSA contact the Financial Aid office at CC or contact the Financial Aid department at the school you are applying to.
- Scholarships are money granted to individuals for their education that they do not have to repay. Many colleges/universities have scholarships specifically for their students, but they may also have general scholarship information. All scholarships have deadline dates so it "pays" to contact the Financial Aid department of your prospective college/university to find out more about scholarships.