Top Advice for Transfers: Four Universities Share Insights

University of Maryland

Editor’s Note: This post was written and submitted by the Coalition for College.

This October, the Coalition for College hosted a panel discussion on “Navigating the Transfer Process.” At the event, admissions counselors from Columbia University, Loyola Marymount University, the University of Lynchburg, and the University of Maryland shared their best advice for students preparing to transfer.

Here are a few highlights:

How can students best prepare to transfer from a two-year to a four-year program?

“Pursue what you love and really what you want to be dedicated to,” advised Jessica Marinaccio from Columbia. “Those are the classes that you will do best in. And then find schools where that fits. So focus on what you’re experiencing now and really dedicate yourself to that, and then worry about the credit process a little bit later.”

“Along with that reflection,” and identifying schools with programs that are a fit for you, adds Vanessa Miranda from Loyola Marymount, “it’s then about being strategic and having conversations with the admission counselors at those institutions, with your advisors or counselors at your institution, to see how you can create a roadmap, an educational plan, that is the most beneficial across the different schools that you’re considering. Many schools, like LMU, have course articulations and core agreements with community colleges and other institutions and are able to assist you to ensure that you have a timely graduation plan upon transferring. We’re here to help and are wanting to connect with you all and be able to provide those resources.”

How can transfer students get involved in campus activities and other opportunities?

“If you’re admitted to our institutions, you’re admitted because we see the promise of what you’re bringing and we see the potential of what you could become if you’re educated at our institutions, and it is our job to offer all of the resources in order to fulfill that promise,” Marinaccio said. “So everything that our institutions have is there, and it’s open to you. So it is up to you, as it is to everyone, no matter when you start, to take advantage of that.”

If I was previously wait-listed at a school, is it ok to apply for transfer?

We really want to encourage you to think about where you are, what your goals are, and then how we can help you to get there,” said James B. Massey Jr. of the University of Maryland. “You know, we do not advise students not to apply. We encourage them, actually, if you think that Maryland is still the place you want to be, or you want to make Maryland yours, as we like to say, then apply.”

What advice do you have for students applying or building a college list this year, with all the challenges the pandemic has brought?

“My advice would be to go visit campuses, if you can,” said Susan Hogg from the University of Lynchburg. “If you can’t, certainly do it virtually — do a virtual tour or listen to a virtual information session. I think it makes all the difference in the world to see if that is, in fact, the right fit for you.

“I think in this time, it’s such a unique and nuanced time, where I really would encourage students to dream big. You know, this is a very different time, and there might be places that you would have thought, well, maybe not that place, or eh, I don’t know about the process, or wouldn’t it be too hard to get in there? Do your research, dream big, and reach high.”

Visit the Coalition for College website to watch the full panel discussion and create a MyCoalition account for invitations to more events like this one, as well as access to tools that help transfer students save time and money.

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