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Steps to a Successful College Transfer Video Transcript

Greetings from Career Services. My name is Suzanne Nelms and I am the Career and Transfer Specialist at the University of North Georgia Oconee campus.

Today we are going to talk about steps to a successful college transfer. Plenty of students transfer between colleges every year. In fact, about one third of all students will swap institutions at least once before earning their degree.

According to the Princeton Review, transferring colleges can be a great idea if you are sure that the new school offers opportunities your current school lacks. That said, transferring involves an application process in competition for open spots can be fierce. Your odds of acceptance as a transfer student are very different from your odds of admission as a first year.

Here's our advice on how to decide if transferring schools is right for you and tips for navigating the process once you've decided to make a change. Topics for today will cover definitions, deadlines, transfer criteria, and transfer credits.

But before we get started into this presentation, let's ask this question. Why would a student want to transfer in the first place? One excellent reason to transfer is because you are unhappy at your current school.

If you find that the school you are attending is not the best fit for you, you may want to look elsewhere. And now that you have more clarity about what you want out of your college experience, you are even better equipped to find one that will meet your academic and social expectations.

Another reason to transfer is if your current school does not have a strong program in your major or area of interest. For example, if you've decided to be a doctor and your college has a weak pre-med program, don't be afraid to look at other schools.

And yet a third reason might be that you simply want to enroll in a college with bigger name recognition. But you might want to reconsider. The difference in reputation between your old school and your new one may not justify the time and effort of transferring. Not to mention the expense.

And remember, a big-name college does not guarantee better jobs or a better college experience.

Definitions: Internal transfer at UNG is when you submit a request via your student Banner to attend another UNG campus such as Gainesville, Cumming, or Dahlonega.

External transfer is when you transfer to another institution outside of the UNG family. For example, UGA, Georgia Tech, or Kennesaw State.

The internal transfer process begins with submitting a request via your Banner indicating if you want to change your degree, your major, or your home campus. You want to be sure to plan early and communicate with your academic advisor the intended semester that you wish to transfer.

This is because we do have deadlines throughout the year. If you would like to transfer in summer or fall, the deadline is April the first. For transfer in the spring, that deadline is November the first.

Check the college website for all admission and transfer deadlines and try to keep up with it. The external transfer process can vary from school to school. Universities have very different deadlines. So do your research. For example, Harvard only accepts transfer applications in the fall.

Remember that all materials must be submitted by the deadline. This includes your final transcript and all credits must be earned. So, any courses you are currently taking, courses you withdrew from, or courses where you may have received an incomplete grade will not be counted in your final transfer hours.

It's a good idea to keep an eye on the college websites for any admission criteria changes or changes to the transfer deadlines. Criteria for internal transfer to another UNG campus is as follows.

Minimum 2.25 overall GPA, completed 30 or more credit hours, completed all learning support, and required high school courses. And all of your area A in your plan of study must be completed by the 30-credit mark.

For transfer to another college, most institutions require a minimum of 30 earned credit hours and a minimum cumulative GPA of a 2.0 or higher. Again, be sure to check the college website. Transfer credits, credits that will or will not transfer to another school.

So, how do you know?  This is a tool for you to use to determine how many or if the credits that you are currently taking at one school will transfer into the transferring school.

Also, if you currently attend a USG school, the USG school system has this policy that core curriculum completed at one system institution is fully transferable to another system institution for the same major.

However, if you transfer outside of the USG school system, for instance, to a private university or possibly to an out-of-state college, you may lose some credits. Remember, when you are transferring that it's just as important to know what you will have left to take to acquire your degree when you get to your new school and you always want to explore all of your options.

Additional helpful tips would include meeting with academic or faculty advisers to make sure that you are making satisfactory academic progress. Attend open houses, transfer orientations, and contact advisors at transfer schools. Meet with Career Services for help with transfer questions and meet with internal transfer advisors for specific guidance about internal transfer.

You also want to have a good long conversation about financial aid. Finances will no doubt play a huge role in your ability to transfer. Make sure you've spoken with the financial aid administrator at the school you hope to attend to get a clear picture of your financial aid.

Also complete any forms that they may require you to fill out as soon as possible. And as always, update your FAFSA every year.

And a few more things. You want to check with the transferring school and ask if they accept AP and CLEP credits because some schools do not. You also want to contact and meet with program advisors for specific program information. For instance, if you are interested in applying to a nursing program or to an education program, you may have to meet additional requirements before you can apply.

And you may also be able to apply only in certain semesters. You also want to ask about transfer articulation agreements between schools. And above all, you want to avoid transfer shock. What exactly is transfer shock? Well, transfer shock is a phenomenon where a student transfers to another school and experiences a temporary dip in their GPA during their first or second semesters.

So, what can a student do to avoid transfer shock? Well, they can attend any transfer student orientation and get acquainted with transfer programs which are available. They can also ask whether there is a specific transfer office or a counselor that can provide services to transfer students. You also want to work to make connections on campus as soon as possible.

Reach out to other students, visit faculty members during office hours, or meet with advisors to get yourself acquainted with the services, even if you don't need them right now.

You also want to try to maintain balance in your schedule. Don't try to make up time or a few lost credits by taking on too much during your first semester or two. Don't overload your schedule. Remember, that level of classes and course expectations may be very different in a new school.

And lastly, you want to get involved on campus. This will help you get acclimated. Join a club or an organization, attend campus events. Keep exploring the feel of the new campus and get yourself comfortable with the new culture, your new surroundings, and the new environment.

And here we have a list of some helpful websites. To request an official copy of your transcript, you can go to this link below for the registrar's office. We also have a link to the UNG orientation and transition programs.

If you're interested in courses, course descriptions, researching different degrees that we offer, looking at the different departments, then that information would be found in our current UNG catalog.

And last but not least, we have a link to see how credit would be awarded for AP classes.  So, remember, you want to plan early, stay organized, keep a notebook of all of your transfer information. Keep up with transfer criteria, and always have a plan B just in case plan A doesn't work out.

For transfer resources at the Oconee campus, please contact Emily Dabau in Nighthawk Engagement and Student Transitions or NEST, Emily can be reached at emily.dabau@ung.edu, or you can visit her office and the 700 building.

You can also go to this link on the right of the slide for additional transfer tips and information. If you have any questions, please ask.

We are here to help and we hope by using these suggestions that you will be able to create a plan to make your transfer a successful one.

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