When should you start planning for transfer? As soon as possible! Below is a transfer planning guide to be used in conjunction with connecting with your advisor:
Stage 1: Discovery
The Discovery stage is for you to see what you like and what you don’t like. Transfer fairs are also great ways to see what’s out there. Your first step is to determine your search criteria.
- Are you looking to stay in New York City? If not, where are you looking to study?
- Would you prefer a large school, like BMCC, or something smaller?
- Do you plan to live on campus or commute?
- What major are you looking to study? Keep in mind majors may not have the same title across all institutions.
Create a list of schools that meet your criteria. This list can be as long or as short as you like. CUNY, SUNY, and College Board allow you to do college/program search on their sites. While cost of attendance and financing your education is important, we encourage you to remain open-minded during this stage. There are many ways to finance your education and focusing on costs during this stage may make you eliminate a school from your list.
Stage 2: Research
The Research stage is where you narrow down your list. Start with the list you created in the Discovery stage and look for the following:
- Admissions requirements, profiles, and deadlines
- Tuition and fees
- Financial aid
- Student services
- Student clubs & activities
While you are researching the tuition and fees, keep in mind that the sticker amount may not be what you end up paying. Financial aid, such as Pell and TAP, could significantly reduce out-of-pocket costs.
During this stage, you should attend transfer events (i.e. information sessions), tour the campus (in-person or virtually), speak with representatives, and ask more targeted questions at Transfer Fairs.
Now that you have compiled this information, begin to compare the colleges and aim to narrow your list to 6-8. In narrowing your list, be certain to determine if each college is a reach, target, or safety school.
- A reach school is one that may be a bit challenging to be admitted usually because of the competitive nature of that school or because your academic record falls just below the average of the last admitted class.
- A target school is one where you meet the average academic standards of the last admitted class and you have a reasonable chance of being accepted.
- A safety school is one where your academic history exceeds the average of the last admitted class and you have a more than reasonable chance of being accepted.
Stage 3: Preparation
You have now finalized the list of colleges to which you will be applying. The Preparation stage is meant to get you ready for the application process. For each college, answer the following questions:
- Through what site will you submit the application?
- When is the application deadline?
- Is there a supplemental application for the school or program for which you are applying?
- Is a personal statement required for the application?
- Do you need to submit letter(s) of recommendation?
With the answers to the questions above, schedule time to complete each application. Keep in mind that when asking for a letter of recommendation, you should provide 2-4 weeks notice.
Interested in learning more about transfer? Check out the other tools in our Transfer Toolbox and speak with your academic advisor.