Easiest Colleges to Transfer Into [2021 Guide]

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The easiest colleges to transfer into are often the ones that decidedly welcome transfer students, creating a more seamless process for you to move schools.

Easiest Colleges to Transfer Into

Acceptance rates for transfer students are usually lower than those for freshman students.

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Understanding how to get past the challenging hurdles that can make the transfer process difficult is essential. It’s helpful to understand the process of transfer friendly colleges as well.

What Are the Easiest Colleges to Transfer Into?

Easiest Colleges to Transfer

Your reason for deciding to transfer colleges could be one of many. Perhaps you are not doing well academically or socially at your current school. Maybe you’d like to change your major. Perhaps you desire to transfer into an online program rather than a traditional college, or vice versa. Maybe you’re returning to college after a few years.

Whatever your reason, transferring to a new school can often be a lengthy process, and it’s not always an easy one. The transfer process may be simplified if your new school has less roadblocks or hurdles to jump through. Some colleges have fewer transfer restrictions than others for particular credits.

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It can also be a simpler transfer process if you’ve only completed foundational courses. Not all colleges require an impressive grade point average in order to qualify for transfer, and this may make the process easier for you as well.

Your ability to transfer schools can depend on the accreditation of your current school as well as the requirements of the school you wish to transfer to. A smoother college transfer can depend on both the reason for your transfer and the transfer process and requirements of the other school.

Transfer Admission Rates

Transfer Admission Rates

Acceptance rates for transfer students are generally lower, so it’s helpful to know a school’s transfer admission rate if you decide to transfer colleges.

Colleges Transfer Acceptance Rates

The following schools have some of the highest acceptance rates for transfer students:

  1. Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering – 100%
  2. Evergreen State College – 97%
  3. University of Wyoming – 97%
  4. Washington & Jefferson College – 95%
  5. University of Tennessee at Chattanooga – 94%
  6. Old Dominion University – 92%
  7. University of Oklahoma – 92%
  8. University of North Carolina at Asheville – 91%
  9. University of Kansas – 90%
  10. East Carolina University – 89%

There are a growing number of colleges who intentionally welcome and work with transfer students. Some schools also accept more transfer credits than others.

Transfer vs. Freshman Admission Rates

Transfer vs. Freshman Admission Rates

Undergraduate admissions rates are generally higher than the admissions rates for transfer students. While some schools have a “no transfer” policy, other schools have a process intended to make the transferring of credits much easier for transfer students.

Overall undergraduate enrollment has decreased for a number of schools. This may work in your favor if you’re considering transferring. In addition, many schools have begun to implement pathways to assist in closing the transfer gap with fewer obstacles.

Transfer students are essential to many colleges. They can help schools maintain and manage their enrollment numbers, filling in the gaps left by students who changed their mind about attending the college. The best schools to transfer to are often the ones who have simplified the transfer process for students.

Maximizing Transfer Credits

Maximizing Transfer Credits

Maximizing your transfer credits is essential so you can carry over as many of your previously earned credits as possible.

It’s strategic to start by looking at the transfer policies of both your current college and the college you wish to transfer to. Some schools may accept up to 90 transfer credits, and others may only accept 30.

If the school you’re applying to transfer to does not accept as many credits as you had hoped, you are able to appeal the transfer and ask for more credits to be accepted. You also have the option of taking additional exams to gain credit for classes. These are called College Level Examination Program (CLEP) tests.

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They provide prep classes to prepare you for the CLEP examination, and then your credit may be recognized by your transfer school as a credit for a course. It’s beneficial to check with your school prior to enrolling in a CLEP test to ensure they’ll accept it.

If these methods don’t work in your favor, you can try certifying work experience as a valid credit. You can also use military training toward an accredited degree. In addition, your advanced placement classes from high school can be recognized by certain colleges and count toward your overall credit count.

How Do I Transfer Schools?

How Do I Transfer Schools

While the transfer process and the difficulty of the transfer varies from school to school, there are some basic steps you can follow to more easily navigate your transfer:

  • Do your research. It’s helpful to read the transfer policies of your school and the college you are interested in transferring to. If you know that this transfer is right for you, then it’s strategic to ensure that the school you wish to transfer to is accredited.
  • Speak to a professional. An advisor can help simplify the process for you or assist you in many of the steps. You can talk to an advisor at your present school as well as someone from the department you are hoping to transfer into.
  • Compile your paperwork. The application process will often move more smoothly if you make sure you have all the correct documentation, which can differ from a freshman application. Writing a well-crafted cover letter to explain your reason for wanting a transfer can also help your chances of being accepted.
  • Submit your application. After weighing the pros and cons of a transfer and deciding which school to apply to, you can submit your application for transfer.
  • Confirm or maximize your transfer credits. You can appeal a school’s decision regarding your transferable credits if you feel more credits should be recognized by your transfer college.

Though the journey may seem daunting, there are schools and advisors that are willing to help you through the transfer process.

5 Tips for Transfer Students

Tips for Transfer Students

Transferring schools can be a lengthy process, but here are some tips to try and help you avoid unnecessary challenges along the way:

  1. Do your research. Doing your research can help you find the best colleges for transfer students. It’s strategic to carefully analyze the transfer policies of your current school as well as the transfer policies and rates of the college you’re interested in. In addition, you might consider the reputation of the school you wish to transfer to, determining whether it is a high-quality program.
  2. Speak to an advisor. A daunting task is often made easier with the help of others. An academic advisor can help you clarify your educational goals and can also connect you with an advisor from the department of the college you wish to transfer to. They may also help you narrow down the best pathway for your transfer.
  3. Be organized. Organizational skills are essential for a smoother transfer. This can entail being aware of application deadlines, gathering necessary transcripts, and compiling documents to support your application.
  4. Maximize your transfer credits. You can examine how many credits will be valuable to your transfer, look for opportunities to expand these, and appeal for the credits that you feel have been valuable to your educational career.
  5. Plan your finances. One factor that is not often considered by transfer students is how a transfer may affect them financially. There is often a fee for both the application and the transfer of credits, and you may lose any scholarships you’ve gained from your current or previous school. You typically have to reapply for financial aid following a transfer. It’s helpful to be aware of any costs that a transfer may carry.

The process of transferring schools can be lengthy and sometimes difficult, but it can help to take your time. You can conduct your research, plan all the documents and items involved, and weigh the pros and cons of your ultimate decision.

Accreditation

college accreditation

Regional accreditation is an important factor to consider when choosing a college, so it’s strategic to check a college’s accreditation status prior to applying.

Accreditation helps determine whether your credits are eligible to transfer. If your current school is not accredited, or the school you wish to transfer to is not accredited, it could present challenges during the transfer process.

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You can use the U.S. Department of Education‘s website to verify the accreditation status of any prospective schools. Regional accreditation signifies that the college you plan to attend adheres to high-quality educational standards and recognized educational regulations.

Financial Aid and Scholarships for Transfer Students

college financial aid

Financial aid can differ for transfer students. While merit-based scholarships are immediately considered for freshman, transfer students generally have to look to other avenues for financial assistance.

There are some scholarships that are created exclusively for transfer students, often with the intent of promoting leadership and initiative for students looking to propel their educational career. Some colleges also have additional applications available to specifically offer merit-based credit for transfer students.

You can begin your financial aid journey as a transfer student by utilizing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA can determine your eligibility for federal or state aid, but it’s essential to be aware of your prospective school’s deadlines when looking to apply for assistance.

Is It Easier to Get Into College as a Transfer?

Get Into College as a Transfer

Whether it’s easier to get into college as a transfer student or a freshman varies from school to school. If your credits are accredited and transferable, then the process may be easier for you if you also have a thorough application.

Most colleges put less emphasis on high school grades and standardized test scores when looking at the applications of transfer students. This is usually the case even if you are transferring colleges after one semester. This may simplify this aspect of admissions.

Some schools are highly selective and have implemented a low transfer student policy. On the other hand, some schools accept 90% or more of their transfer student applications. Whether the process is easier depends on the regulations and rates of the specific college.

Is Transferring Colleges Hard?

Is Transferring Colleges Hard

Transferring colleges can be a time-consuming process that takes a lot of individual research, application planning, and personal thought. Since the reasons for wanting to transfer colleges vary, so does the simplicity of the process.

The process might seem easier if you have maximized your credits and have an educational goal in mind that shows initiative. You can also seek the help of advisors. In addition, it’s beneficial to be aware of any deadlines, submitting your application on time.

Finding a school with a high student transfer admission rate can help simplify the process as well.

Can I Transfer with a 2.5 GPA?

Can I Transfer with a 2.5 GPA

Many colleges look at your GPA score when considering your transfer application, but it’s often just one of many factors.

If you are able to confidently explain the reason behind your 2.5 GPA, your circumstances may be considered by the admissions team. There are also programs that accept transfer students with low GPAs without requiring a reason for the score.

This can be especially true if you are planning to transfer to a major that’s different than the one your GPA currently represents. Changing majors shows you are changing direction with your educational career. Following your transfer, you may be asked to reach a certain bench point within the first year to show your dedication to the program.

It may help to speak to an academic advisor from your current school and from the department you wish to transfer to. They might be able to help you present a case for your acceptance despite a 2.5 GPA.

What Do Universities Look For in a Transfer Student?

Universities Look For in a Transfer Student

Universities usually want to know that a transfer student can succeed at their institution if they are accepted.

The goal of colleges is to ensure the successful graduation of their enrollment. Universities will look at your application to consider whether you can carry through with your degree and ultimately graduate. If you have proven you can handle a college educational degree at your previous school, acceptance may not be as difficult for you at your transfer school.

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Universities also look at the GPA and completed credits from your current school. They’ll consider letters of recommendation or a statement of intent as well. A strong recommendation from faculty or an advisor may help an admissions board determine your qualifications.

Which Colleges Accept the Most Transfer Students?

universities with the top transfer student

U.S. News compiled a list of universities with the top transfer student enrollment count. Here are the top five schools from their list:

  • University of Maryland Global Campus
  • Florida International University
  • University of Central Florida
  • California State University, Northridge
  • University of Texas at Arlington

An acceptance rate is not the same as an enrollment count. Knowing which universities have accepted the most transfer students may help you determine the best colleges to transfer to.

Are There Colleges with 100 Acceptance Rate?

Colleges with 100 Acceptance Rate

Yes, some colleges do have 100% acceptance rates for their incoming students. U.S. News cites a list of 32 universities with a 100% acceptance rate for students. Some of the colleges on their list include:

  • Academy of Art University
  • Broward College
  • Dickinson State University
  • Glenville State College
  • Herzing University
  • New England College
  • Rochester University

It is beneficial to check the accreditation status of the school you’re thinking of applying to. Accreditation ensures that a school adheres to high-quality standards of education.

What College Has the Highest Acceptance Rate?

College with Highest Acceptance Rate

U.S. News has compiled a list of 100 schools with the highest acceptance rates in the United States. On this list, 32 of the colleges have 100% acceptance rate, meaning they accept all of the students who apply.

Many other schools on their list have high acceptance rates above and below 90%. This knowledge may help you narrow down your transfer choice. It can also be beneficial to investigate the transfer student acceptance rates of the individual schools.

Should I Transfer Colleges?

Transferring colleges is a personal decision, but you might want to ask yourself a few important questions prior to making the decision.

  • What is your reason for transferring?
  • Are you prepared for any academic or financial aid adjustments?
  • Are you ready for the extensive and potentially lengthy transfer process?
  • Are you prepared to experience social life changes?
  • Will your credits be applicable to your transfer?
  • Will you be required to maximize your credits in any way?
  • Does your prospective school meet the needs of your educational goals?
  • Have you weighed the pros and cons of your present school and potential transfer?

Asking yourself these questions and doing some individual research can help you better decide if a transfer is the right move for you.

Transferring to an Online School

Transferring to an Online School

There are many online colleges that accept transfer students, offering the convenience and scheduling freedom of online learning.

Non-traditional students are often drawn to online programming, as flexible course schedules often allow students to balance their academic studies with their work or life responsibilities.

Online degrees are valid and respected if they’re earned from an accredited school. Being aware of a potential school’s transfer policies and admission requirements can help you better understand and navigate the transfer process.

If you’ve determined that transferring schools is the best move for you, you can start by researching accredited institutions to find programs that align with your educational needs and goals.

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Claudia Amendola Alzraa
WRITTEN BY
Claudia Amendola Alzraa
Claudia has a Master's in Library and Information Studies, a Bachelor's in Education, and a Bachelor's with Honors in English and Philosophy. With a history working in Special Education, Claudia is an advocate for diversified and equitable education, and student success initiatives.