Karen Gerardi, Director of Admission for Transfer Students at Washington & Jefferson College in Pennsylvania, offers this checklist for transfer students:
* “Build and utilize your support system. Your transfer to a four-year institution will be an adjustment, and that’s fine — because plenty of people across campus will be glad to help to you. Take advantage of staff, students and programs designed to welcome you to campus and help you get acclimated.
* “Touch base with the Office of Admission and the financial aid department. Sure, you can apply on-line and get financial aid information from the college web site, but if you get to know the person who recruits and transitions transfer students, as well as the contact person in financial aid, you will be able to take advantage of resources targeted to your specific situation. This personal attention will help ensure that you are submitting all necessary application materials, meeting deadlines, and taking advantage of any scholarship opportunities.
* “Take advantage of academic programs outside of the classroom. At W&J every transfer student has a personal academic advisor as well as a student mentor who will provide useful tips on making a successful transition by helping you to schedule your courses, manage your time effectively and understand the culture and expectations at your new school. As soon as you get to campus, schedule a meeting with your academic advisor. In addition to helping you maximize transfer credits and making sure you are on track academically, your advisor will help you explore internships, research projects, and study abroad options. These opportunities are critical during the later years of your college career, so let your academic advisor help you get the most from your experience!
* “Visit the office of career services. Ask about job fairs, building a resume, and mock interviews. Career services should be able to help you identify your natural talents and help position you for career success upon graduation.
* “Get involved/Engage current students. Are you following your four-year school on Facebook and Twitter? If not, start now. It’s a great way to get a feel for the culture, activities and student life of the campus. By the time you begin your four-year career, you will already know what you’d like to be involved.
“Finally, take advantage of the fresh start. You earned it, and you deserve it!”