When I decided to start my education at a two-year college, I already dreaded the “t word”—transfer. Community college saved me money, gave me time to hone in on my major and offered me a scholarship opportunity I couldn’t pass up. Still, I was petrified of what I thought would be a convoluted transfer process (I was so wrong.) As my two years finished up and I decided to transfer to Rowan University, I realized there are simple ways to make transferring much easier. Take these five tips to heart early on and you’ll have the easiest transfer ever.
- Start planning early. If you are attending a two-year college in state, don’t pick a single class until you’ve visited NJTransfer.org. This free website is the best resource transfers have. Enter in the associate degree path you’re on and the bachelor’s degree you want to earn over the next four years. The website will tell you which classes to take so you can fulfill as many requirements as possible. Following this step from the beginning helped me transfer nearly 100 credits, making my Rowan University course load a lot more manageable.
- Choose the school you transfer to wisely. Rowan University partners with all New Jersey community colleges with a number of local community colleges. These partnerships have serious benefits so give them extra thought. For me, choosing to transfer to Rowan meant a waived application fee, the option to interview with a recruiter and be accepted on the spot and a guarantee that all of my credits would transfer.
- Explore what resources are available to transfer students at your new school. Will you have to go to orientation with brand-new college freshmen, or take a special freshman only class despite having junior status? Are there staff members who specialize in the transfer process? At Rowan, the Division of Transfer Services is here to help you every step of the way. Transfer Services holds different workshops and plans transfer-specific orientations and events to help you become familiar with campus. And when in doubt, you can always email Transfer Help to access any department at any time for help or questions.
- Once you’re admitted, be sure to look into transfer scholarships offered by your two-year or four-year college, as well as outside organizations. The most prominent transfer scholarship program is NJ Stars. This program admits high-achieving high school students to local two-year colleges tuition free! Keeping their GPAs up earns those students a $5,000 grant once they transfer to a NJ state college. To learn more about the options for NJ transfer students, visit NJStars.net or HESAA.org. The State of New Jersey, in partnership with Rowan University, also offers the Garden State Guarantee. Garden State Guarantee provides financial aid resources specifically for Transfer students. (Go.Rowan.edu/GSG)
- Once you get on campus with your transcript in tow and your scholarships lined up, get involved! Rowan offers forums, lunches and meet-ups for transfer students to get to know each other. These students are also given all of the same privileges as returning students from the moment they step on campus. Move into student housing, join a school sports team or run for student government. The best tip to transferring is really just to embrace the culture of your four-year school and make it your home.
By: Bianca Blando
Photos updated fall 2023