Whether you’re a campus visit pro from your high school days or you never got the chance, it’s worth visiting any schools you’re considering for your transfer.
The transfer college search is just like the traditional college search—except when it’s not. But that’s okay. As long as you keep those little transfer “twists” in mind, you’ll be fine. Visiting campus is one of those scenarios where those twists come into play: it really isn’t that different as a would-be transfer student than as a high school student, but there are a few transfer-specific things to keep in mind.
While on a tour or talking with an admission counselor, you should ask all the standard campus visit questions about academics, student life, and more. (Here are some clutch examples.) But it also helps to have some transfer-friendly questions on hand.
Remember, your campus visit doesn’t have to end with the official tour. You might be able to sit down with a transfer counselor or professor while you’re there. And you should definitely try to talk to students you see hanging around. (Check coffee shops. You’ll always find students in coffee shops.) You’ll often get the best, most honest answers out of students when it’s “off the record.” Pay attention to your gut reactions as you walk around campus too.
And don’t forget to have fun! The campus visit is your chance to test-drive a college. Get into the spirit of being a student there. Go exploring. Be excited. And ask questions . . .
Questions for your tour guide
- What happens during transfer orientation?
- What is the campus social scene like? How easy is it for transfer students to get involved?
- Are there any specific resources on campus for transfer students?
- What resources are available for commuting students, such as travel vouchers or parking passes?
- What resources are available for students with families, such as housing or child care?
Questions for the transfer counselor
- What is the process for evaluating transfer credits?
- Does being a transfer student impact access to student housing? If so, how?
- Are there any scholarships or other financial aid opportunities specifically for transfers?
- Does being a transfer have any impact on access to financial aid or scholarships?
- When will I find out which of my credits transferred?
- What percentage of students are transfers? How many came from community colleges and how many from other four-year schools?
- Is there anything I should be working on with the transfer counselor at my current school?
Questions for professors
- Can transfer students get involved in undergraduate research?
- Are any courses off limits to transfer students or transfers coming in after a certain year (e.g., sophomores, juniors)?
- Does being a transfer impact my access to faculty academic advisors?
Questions for current students
- How easy is it to meet people on campus?
- How welcoming is the campus community?
- How supportive are the faculty and staff?
- Do you know any transfer students, and if so, what was their experience like?
P.S. Even if you don’t get a chance to ask these questions during your campus visit, you’ll still benefit from knowing the answers! So make an effort to answer them on your own by doing research online, scheduling an admission interview, or e-mailing or calling your transfer counselor.