7 Tips for Transfer Students

Two College students making appointments to see there counselors.

Many high school students aspire to attend their ideal school, but what if the college you chose doesn’t meet your expectations? There is essentially an infinite list of reasons why students decide to transfer to different schools. Whether the campus culture is a poor fit for you or you’ve decided to switch majors and your current school doesn’t offer your preferred program, it may be time to research the transfer process.

Here, you can get seven actionable tips for transfer students. Explore the process of transferring college credits, get some application tips and check out advice for transfer students’ financial concerns.

In This Article:

1. Know the Process of Transferring College Credits

When you transfer to a different school, you do not necessarily need to start from scratch. It’s likely that some of the credits you’ve already earned may transfer with you, although it’s possible that not all of them will. If you plan on staying within the same field of study, then it’s likely that more credits will transfer than if you choose an entirely different major at your new school.

2. Work With Your University Counselor

University counselors are available to provide personalized support when transferring to Grand Canyon University. They can show you how your credits may transfer from a community college, a four-year university or from the military. By working with your counselor, you can feel confident that you understand the details of your future classes, finances and even campus housing opportunities.

Your university counselor will guide you through the LOPES Unofficial Credit Evaluation, which can help you estimate how many credits will transfer and how long it may take you to complete your degree at GCU, if you follow the schedule provided.

The best part? GCU can accept up to 90 credits from your previous institution (if the credits meet the degree and specific course requirements) or up to 30 credits from alternative credit options.

3. Earn Credits for Military Service

While this may vary depending on the college you attend, at GCU, we allow you to earn credits for military service. GCU recognizes that you may have earned potential college credit through your military training. A military university counselor representative can help you evaluate your transcripts to determine how many credits can be accepted. In addition, you can work with a military benefits liaison. Your liaison can help you navigate the process of applying military benefits toward financing your education.

4. Show Your Approved Transfer Certificate

At GCU, if you have an approved undergraduate-level certificate or advanced graduate-level certificate, you may be able to earn credits toward your degree. If you qualify as a student with one of these certificates, contact a university counselor to confirm your credits can transfer properly. The American Council on Education (ACE) can provide an additional option for you to earn credit for your program at GCU.

5. Take National Exams

National exams give you the chance to demonstrate your knowledge on a subject without having to sit in a class and study material you have already mastered. Some examples of national exams are Advance Placement (AP), College Level Examination Program (CLEP) and Excelsior college examinations, among others. Through these exams, you can potentially earn up to 30 credits toward your bachelor’s degree at GCU.

6. Consider the Lifelong Learning Assistant (LLA)

When transferring to GCU, you can take advantage of the Lifelong Learning Assessment (LLA) to gain credits based on your work and life experiences. Through this process, you can earn up to eight general education or elective credits by writing essays that demonstrate your college-level knowledge. Before submitting an LLA essay, you must complete ENG-135. This writing-intensive course helps you prepare, outline, build and organize your essay.

7. Look for Transfer Scholarships

It’s common for high school students to look for scholarships before heading off to college, but many may fail to continue the scholarship search throughout their college years. As you plan your transfer to a new school, it’s important to continue applying for scholarships. Look for scholarships offered by organizations and foundations that you may qualify for, such as by demonstrating need or merit.

In addition, several GCU-specific scholarships may be available for some students who transfer here. For example, students may qualify for the Indirect Start Scholarship, Priority Registration Grant, Phi Theta Kappa Grant and others. You can combine outside scholarships with GCU scholarships to help you pay for your education.

Why Choose GCU

As a private university, GCU’s tuition rates for in-state, out-of-state and international students are the same. This allows students to work toward an education at an affordable rate. Plus, in-state students may qualify for a grant by graduating from one of GCU’s participant high schools.

Additionally, when you transfer to GCU, you become part of a family. As a community-oriented school, our goal is for you to feel comfortable and happy in GCU’s environment. Staff and faculty members strive to help you feel welcome.

GCU offers one-day and two-day events to give you a close-up snapshot of campus life and your program of study. During your campus visit, you will have the opportunity to explore the campus, participate in activities and meet other future transfer Lopes. In addition, you may have the opportunity to chat with other transfer students to get a firsthand story of what it’s like to attend GCU after previously attending another college.

GCU welcomes prospective transfer students and invites you to explore our extensive catalog of bachelor’s degrees. Let our university counselors help make your transfer process a positive and encouraging experience. Complete the form on this page for more information about how easy it is to transfer credits to GCU. 

Approved by the assistant vice president of GCU Marketing on Feb. 14

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.