Editor’s Note: This post was written and submitted by PTK’s Vice President of Scholarship and Membership Christin Grissom and PTK’s Vice President of Student Engagement Dr. Blake Ellis.
When it comes to college transfer, it’s good to explore your options. There’s no better place to do that than at the Senior College Transfer Fair at PTK Catalyst, April 3. The largest transfer fair in the nation, this event gives attendees the benefit of exploring transfer opportunities offered by more than 100 four-year colleges and universities all in one place.
Recognition is one of the leading reasons you joined PTK. Get recognized during and after PTK Catalyst by making a strong impression with four-year college and university admission representatives at the Senior College Transfer Fair. You’ll have a unique opportunity to engage with more than 100 four-year colleges and universities from across the nation in one place on Friday, April 3 at the fair.
A conversation color code guide will be available on the PTK Catalyst app to help you quickly identify unique opportunities provided by each institution, like whether they provide a PTK transfer scholarship or honors coursework to name a few. Use the fair as an opportunity to learn more about individual institutions and sort through transfer requirements to help with your transfer planning.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed when thinking about which university you’ll attend. That’s why we have created some best practices that will help you get the most out of this experience.
Are you a first-year college student who thinks it’s too early to explore your transfer options? Trust us, it’s not. The next year will go by quickly, and it’s better to start thinking about transfer now rather than later. Even if you’re preparing to transfer and haven’t picked a college yet, it’s not too late. Ask admissions representatives questions and follow up with them after the fair to schedule a college visit.
Do your homework.
Before you leave for PTK Catalyst, scan the full list of colleges and universities who want to meet you in Dallas. Make a note of the schools that interest you the most, and plan to visit their booths at the fair.
Narrow the list by asking yourself these questions:
- Are you looking for a college that’s close to home or in a different part of the country?
- Are you interested in small, private schools or large, public universities?
- Which colleges offer your major?
- What’s the cost of tuition, and what types of scholarships/financial aid are offered?
- Is the college you’re interested in transfer-friendly, and what support resources do they provide transfer students?
Let PTK programs work for you.
Before you get to Catalyst, log in to PTK Connect, PTK’s on-demand college and career planning resource, to create a list of your favorite colleges. Review college profiles, compare them side-by-side, and checkout the transfer scholarships they provide. Consider colleges exhibiting at the transfer fair, even if you’ve never heard of them before or you think they are out of reach. Doing your research before attending the fair will help you ask strong questions, and it could help you gain admission or land more scholarship opportunities.
Also, check out Transfer EDGE, PTK’s self-paced, online curriculum that teaches you everything you need to know about transferring successfully. You’ll learn how to advocate for yourself, navigate financial aid, search for and select colleges, and submit winning applications. For each level you complete, you’ll earn a digital badge that you can display on your favorite social media platforms.
Oh, and will you get a PTK Connect and Transfer EDGE ribbon to wear at Catalyst? Absolutely!
Keep an open mind.
Have a plan, but don’t be afraid to deviate from it if a college that wasn’t on your original list catches your eye. Chatting with representatives from a variety of colleges can also help you figure out your own preferences. Sometimes it’s just as important to know what you don’t want as it is to make your transfer wish list.
Be polite, but spend most of your time on schools that match your interests. There are hundreds of great schools out there, and you may not have heard of them all yet. That’s OK! Talk to as many representatives as you can, and see which institutions work best for you.
Make your questions count.
Remember quality, not quantity, defines a successful transfer fair experience. Instead of trying to collect a brochure from every booth, have in-depth conversations with representatives of the colleges you’re most interested in exploring.
Don’t bother asking generic questions like “Do you have a good engineering program?” Instead, ask what sets their program apart from other colleges. Ask what their job placement rates look like post-graduation. Or see what programs they have specifically for transfer students. You might also want to see if PTK scholarships are stackable with other financial aid options.
It’s tempting to casually wander through the college fair without realizing it’s a great networking opportunity. Pay attention to who you’re talking with at each booth and ask for their contact information at the end of your conversation. Keep in touch and reach out with thoughtful questions that demonstrate your interest. Admissions counselors have been known to ask their colleges to provide a full-ride scholarship for a PTK member(s) they have met at PTK Catalyst. Leave a strong, lasting impression!
Even if you successfully gather a lot of information, be sure to schedule a campus visit. It’s still the best way to find your ideal transfer fit. Remember, the transfer fair is only the beginning of your college search. You’ll need to do more research, make a choice, and follow through.
Once you get back home be sure to share what you’ve learned from the Senior College Transfer Fair and your entire PTK Catalyst experience. Not all PTK members are fortunate enough to attend PTK Catalyst, so share your materials and consider facilitating a presentation for fellow chapter members.
Check out the entire PTK Catalyst 2020 schedule and plan your convention experience with your chapter.