Step by Step Guide to Transfer Planning and Applying
Transferring to a four year college or university is a multi-step process. It is never too early to start thinking about transfer. We offer a number of workshops, events and resources to help you with the planning process. We’ve broken the process up into four main parts: Prepare, Explore, Apply, and Decide.
Quote from Gates: Transfer students who have completed an Associate’s degree are 30% more likely to successfully complete their Bachelor’s degree than students who transfer prior to completing.
- Save your syllabi from all of your BHCC courses. You may need these when you transfer.
- Get to know the faculty in your department and participate in class. Many schools require that you submit letters of recommendation from faculty when you apply for transfer.
- Make every effort to earn good grades. Your academic transcript is a permanent record.
- Choose a major that is best aligned with your transfer goals and stay on track for graduation.
Need help deciding on a major?
- Do some Career Exploration or take a Self-Assessment to help you clarify your interests and skills and find career areas to explore.
- Attend the Exploring Majors & Career Pathways workshop (view the schedule and other workshop offerings at bhcc.edu/careerservices)
- Meet with a Career or Academic Advisor in the LifeMap Commons, room E-235
- Get involved with student activities, athletics, the Commonwealth Honors Program, and Community Engagement. Campus and community involvement enhance your transfer applications.
- Start learning about transfer. Attend a transfer workshop, meet with visiting Admissions representatives or stop by a Transfer Fair.
Start making connections with the schools you are interested in
- BHCC regularly hosts admissions representatives from area colleges and universities, see who is coming on our calendar to the right.
- Admissions representatives from over 40 colleges and universities attend the BHCC Transfer Fair each fall (October) and spring (March). Please review our Getting Ready for the Transfer Fair and the list of anticipated colleges before attending.
- Contact the admissions departments at colleges that you think you might want to apply to. Many colleges offer open houses and information sessions for prospective students.
Some questions for your next college
Investigate 6 to 10 colleges; we would suggest a combination of public and private colleges. Use our Transfer Worksheet to help keep track.
- Do they have my major? Do the required courses meet my expectations? Is it clear what I will be able to do for a career with this major?
- Does the location work for me?
- Do they offer classes when I am available? Nights? Weekends? Online?
- Can I be a part time student or do I have to go full time?
- Can I live on-campus?
- Do they offer study abroad opportunities? Athletics? Internships?
- Do they offer scholarships for transfer students?
- What is the deadline for application? To apply for financial aid?
- What are the requirements for application? Will I need to write an essay? Supply recommendations, etc.?
Your goal is to have choices, to have more than one college accept you. This means you should apply to multiple colleges. Be aware of costs, but do not limit your choices at this point based on cost. Visit the transfer admissions website for each college or call the admissions department at those colleges for application instructions, required documents, and application deadlines.
Which application do I use?
The transfer admissions website for each college should tell you which application to use:
Application fee waivers, scholarship opportunities, and assistance with financial planning
Visit American Student Assistance for information about application fee waivers, scholarship opportunities, and assistance with financial planning.
FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)
Complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Include the school codes for all the schools you are applying to on your FAFSA application.
- Be aware of each college’s deadlines for applying for financial aid, they may be earlier than the application deadline.
- Many colleges using the Common Application also require that you complete the College Board CSS/Financial Aid Profile. Click here for directions on how to complete the CSS/Financial Aid Profile.
Letters of Recommendation
Many schools will require that you submit letters of recommendations; this information should be on the transfer admissions website of the college you are applying to. Give your professors at least one month’s notices. Review our How to Request a Recommendation and Request Form.
Essay & Personal Statements
You may be required to submit an essay and or personal statements; this information should be on the transfer admissions website of the college you are applying to. Start this process early and make sure to read the directions carefully, you may have to answer specific questions. Review Writing Your Transfer Essay.
Request transcripts early. You must ask any and all other schools and colleges you have attended to send your transcript to the colleges where you are applying. Order an official BHCC transcript here.
- Request college academic transcripts as soon as you know where you will apply. You do not need to wait until you have completed your application.
- If applicable, you need to arrange to have HiSET or GED equivalencies sent to the colleges where you will apply. BHCC cannot do this for you.
- International High School or Secondary Schools may need to be translated or have specific requirements based on the country. This is not difficult but you must make the request as soon as possible.
SAT or ACT scores
If the college requires SAT or ACT scores you must submit these. You must look on the colleges’ web sites for this and for whether you need recent scores. If you must take one of these tests, find practice sites online and practice before you take the test.
TOEFL or IELTS scores
If the colleges require TOEFL or IELTS scores, you must take these. The BHCC Language Lab has excellent help for the TOEFL exam. Regardless of any specific requirements, a TOEFL score of 100 or higher will open doors for transfer and for jobs. TOEFL tests the speed of your English language fluency. You can have a high GPA including A’s in English 111 and 112 and still not be guaranteed a high TOEFL score. Take the practice exam in the Language Lab.
When you are accepted, colleges will send you directions on how to enroll and how to sign up for classes and how to pay tuition and fees, including any financial aid you receive. The college you choose will require an enrollment deposit
Ask questions. A college that has accepted you really wants you to attend. The admissions office expects questions. If you haven’t visited already, schedule an appointment/tour at the college to help you decide.
Review your Financial Aid Package. Cost is an important concern and each college will offer you something different. Ask to meet with the Financial Aid Office at each school to ensure that you understand what each college will really cost for you to attend. How much is a grant that you do not have to pay back? How much is a loan that you will have to pay back? Is your award for one year? Or for the whole time you are at the college? Ask questions.
If the package is preventing you from attending, ask if they can offer you more aid.
Click here and review the “Pay for College” information on the College Board Big Future web site. What will be your actual total cost per semester? What will your financial aid pay? What must how pay? How will you pay your share? You can also compare your aid awards on the College Board site.
Read everything the college sends. If you don’t understand, ask questions. We suggest meeting with the college, you can do this by phone or email if you cannot do it in person. Enrollment requires a lot of paperwork. This includes information on transferring your credits, health forms, information on college housing options. Submit everything on time.
Choose the college you will attend and notify them of your decision by the deadline listed in your acceptance package.
Attend Orientation and Registration Programs. Attend the earliest session offered to you.
Send Final Official BHCC transcripts after final grades are posted or after your degree or certificate has been awarded.