Students transferring between schools are much more common than you might first expect it to be, and far less stigmatic than seemingly purported to be. According to a recent study from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, of the 3.6 million first-time students who entered college in fall 2008, more than one-third (37.2 percent) transferred at least once within six years. Of that cohort, nearly half (45 percent) switched more than once. Between 2008 and 2014, 2.4 million transfers were completed.
Students may need to transfer for any number of reasons: their current school doesn’t offer a certain major; homesickness has led them to consider comparable schools closer to family; a different institution is a better fit; a life event (like a sickness that needs specialized treatment only available in certain locations) spurs a transfer.
The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s online suite of Bachelor of Science programs may be ideal for transfer students. To start, here are some of the most important considerations transfer students should take into account when planning out their change:
Credit transfer policy
Researching your desired program’s credit transfer policy is among the most important and necessary actions to take immediately. Starting at UAB with all your completed credits is a best-case scenario, and you’ll likely want to feel as if the time you spent will have helped you on this new path at a different university.
UAB’s Collat School of Business has several additional admissions requirements for transfer students.
• Minimum of 24 transferable college semester hours.
• Official transcripts from all prior higher education.
• Minimum GPA of 2.0.
• Good standing at all prior educational institutions.
The first step in this process is to get in touch with UAB’s online enrollment advisors, which will have information on how credits may transfer and what information will be needed to support the case. They can help guide you through how transfer credits are approached on their end.
One helpful resource available regardless of school is Transferology.com. Students can utilize the website to dig into course credit equivalencies, as well as find out how other variables (like military service and standardized testing) may translate in the transfer process.
Coordinate with both schools
When planning out the transfer, it’s only natural to devote a lot of the focus on the school you are looking to move to. However, your current college or university, which you’ll be leaving, will still have a big part to play. This is evident in the fact that while course credits may transfer, the grades and records of your participation and completion will remain as history of that institution.
Facilitating a smooth and efficient transfer entails coordinating the process with both sides of the equation. You should know what you need to do to formally withdraw, as well as understand the expectations and requirements of UAB’s Collat School of Business. You don’t want to end up with everything settled on one account, only to find out a hitch in the other could scuttle the process entirely.
Being able to draw a line between satisfying certain requirements on both ends will help you to ensure the process is ironclad and both sides are knowledgeable and cosigners to the planned transfer.
Have a specific program and major in mind
It’s important you have selected a major (or at least come as close to it as you can) while applying to transfer schools. This decision-making is needed because of the possible availability of a certain major you want to pursue. Students who are sure of why they’re transferring academically can appear more attractive to admissions offices than those without a plan for their studies.
“I’m not aware of many universities that will admit transfer students who are entirely undecided about their academic plans,” Shawn Abbott, assistant vice president of admissions at N.Y.U., told The New York Times. “We expect that transfer students are — at this point in their college career — a little more self-directed and focused.”
There are a number of 100 percent online bachelor’s degrees available under UAB’s Collat School of Business:
• Bachelor of Science in Accounting.
• Bachelor of Science in Finance.
• Bachelor of Science in Human Resource Management.
• Bachelor of Science in Industrial Distribution.
• Bachelor of Science in Information Systems.
• Bachelor of Science in Management.
• Bachelor of Science in Marketing.
Deadlines for declaring a major exist, however, and you’ll need to remain aware of any such dates by which you must have a major decided upon. Consult an enrollment advisor for more details.
Get a handle on the paperwork
Applying to schools requires completing and preserving a fair amount of paperwork. Add to that other paperwork needs from the school you’re leaving and the reams of documentation may start to become a real headache. Yet accurate and detailed filing is non-negotiable in the transfer process. Transcripts, standardized test scores, financial aid forms, student registration forms and declarations of majors are all some of the documents you’ll need to familiarize yourself with from the get go.
An easy way to keep track of all the paper is by scanning every completed document to a personal computer to save for recordkeeping. Easy accessibility and share ability mean less risk for a mishap.
Learn more about UAB’s Collat School of Business
For online students, the transfer process may be a little less stressful, but it’s a process all the same. The same considerations are present, and students must balance the requirements of documentation and outreach with finding a program that fits their needs. Remember that you’re not alone when making this big decision; advisors on both ends have been through this before and will be able to help if you ask.
Such is the case at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where our enrollment advisors have experience in these exact matters. To learn more about the UAB Collat School of Business, contact us today.
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