Why do I need a transfer guide?
It’s more complex to move from a 2-year college to a four-year institution than from high school into college simply because high schools have established curriculums that are accepted for entry into all colleges, while there is no universal transfer policy.
To get where you want to go, you’ll have to plan. You’ll have to navigate transfer requirements and applications. They key is having the right information, and then using it.
You’ve already made a smart choice by attending Richard Bland College. It’s a savvy choice. Now your next step is to start your transfer planning as soon as possible.
Why do I need to plan ahead?
Planning ahead assures you take classes that transfer AND fulfill graduation requirements at a particular four-year college of your choice. Planning ahead makes sure you have enough financial aid, and that you haven’t used up your benefits taking the wrong courses.
How does my choice of a major affect the courses I’ll need?
The major you choose impacts not only the courses in your major you need to take at Richard Bland, but it also might impact your general education courses, too. Choose carefully. Plan your coursework to maximize your transfer possibilities by having most or all of the courses you take at Richard Bland College meet the requirements for several four-year colleges.
Also, see how many foreign language courses are required with one major as compared to another.
How do I know if a course is articulated?
Be aware that four-year colleges set their own requirements in determining whether a course will count. A course can count as a required course in your major, or as a required General Education (GE) course. Or it can count as only an elective that does NOT count towards your major or your GE requirements. Some courses may not count at all, because colleges may not find them sufficiently challenging or consistent with their curriculum.
So how do you know?
Check the articulation agreements on the website to see what courses a college has agreed to accept. Talk to the admissions counselor at the four-year college. Ideally, communicate via email so you’ll have a written record.
How early should I talk to transfer admissions counselors at schools where I’m interested in transferring?
Contact the four-year colleges you’re considering as early as possible to confirm your coursework will transfer. You’ll also be able to ask for recommendations for specific courses you should take while still at Richard Bland.
Check out our list of “highly transferrable courses.” It’s a great place to start.
It can seem complicated. The same major at two different colleges may have different requirements. Different majors at the same college may have different requirements. That’s why advance planning is important.
How frequently should I talk to transfer admissions counselors?
Things change frequently, so be sure to check in every semester.
How many institutions should I plan on applying to for transfer?
You may or may not get into your first choice, so it’s a good idea to apply to four or five colleges. Take the time to learn what the profile of the “average” accepted transfer student looks like, so you’re applying to institutions that are a good match for you.
How can I prepare myself for transfer?
Get to know your professors and counselors and stay in touch with them. This helps to assure that they know you and your work well enough to write a letter of recommendation for admissions or scholarships.
Keep good records. If you’re planning on transferring, and just to be on the safe side, keep course descriptions and class syllabi for every course you take.
Join our Honors program. You’ll have a way of making your application stand out, and you’ll also be eligible for special scholarships when you transfer.
How do I assemble a list of four-year colleges to investigate?
Think of this as your personal treasure hunt. You’ll find a good fit for you if you take the time to plan. Don’t rule out a college too early, but do create a plan that includes both “dream” schools and realistic choices. Confirm what GPAs are required by different institutions (and for different majors—some are higher) so you’ll know that you’re in the right ballpark.
Are there things I should know about my application?
Apply early. That way, if documents are lost you’ll have the time to replace them. Even if admissions for transfer students are rolling, if you apply earlier you’ll have more choices. More choices in terms of courses, housing, and financial aid. Don’t procrastinate.
As part of any application, you’ll have to have official transcripts sent from every college you’ve attended sent to the four-year institution. They should be sent directly by your colleges (including Richard Bland) to each college you apply to.
Most colleges also require letters of recommendation. In general, if your letter of recommendation is written by a professor in your major, that’s the best. Professors who agree to write you a letter of recommendation are doing you a favor. Make it easy for them. Email them your bio or resume, and let them know where you’re interested in applying. Let them know of any deadlines, and give them plenty of time (a couple of weeks, at least). After they’ve sent the letter, be sure to thank them. And when you’ve been accepted into a four-year institution, be sure to let them know. Hearing your good news is a great way to say thanks.