After You Transfer
When you move from one institution to another, the transition can often be more difficult than you expect. Both high school and college students who transfer to university discover that classes are larger, instructors have different expectations, and the atmosphere is more competitive.
Researchers have studied this experience, and call it "transfer shock." A common result is a drop in grades in the first year after transfer.
But it doesn't have to be like that. Here is some of their advice:
- The way you studied at college may not work at university. Be prepared to change your strategies. One student said, "I think they expect more of you. You have to read more. The tests are harder and they mark the papers harder too." Others said large classes were too intimidating to ask questions in, so they used tutorials for that.
- Find out right away what the professor wants. Ask other students who have already taken the class.
- Familiarize yourself with your department and faculty resources. Connect with an educational advisor and check out the websites for your intended program.
- Connect -- join clubs, study with other students, volunteer for research projects. Professors are approachable -- meet with them during their office hours. Researchers have found that students who make an effort to reach out to others enjoy their time more and do better in their studies.
- Seek advice and make use of all the support systems available. One student told us, "Here they were just as good as at my college. They made a calendar available for me. My advisor told me what problems I might have and what I should make sure to do."
The good news is that once students adjust, their grades go back up. So if you experience some transfer shock, try the things other students have found helpful. And hang in there! It will get better.
ATTENDING MULTIPLE INSTITUTIONS
Once you're accepted as a student at a university, the university considers you to be one of its own students, and you have to get permission to take courses anywhere else. Not realizing this, some students sometimes continue to take courses at the college they attended before transferring and are taken aback when they're denied credit for these courses.
To receive credit for courses taken at other institutions you must obtain a Letter of Permission (LOP) beforehand, authorizing you to take the course.
Note: Permission is not always granted, and there is usually a grade requirement for LOP courses (normally C or higher).
Ask at the Registrar’s or Academic Advising Office for an LOP form.
TRANSFERRING YOUR STUDENT LOAN
If you're counting on government student aid you must let the federal and/or provincial governments know that you're changing schools. If you don't, you could delay the processing of your loan application, or not receive as much money as you may be entitled to.
Have you already received any disbursements of loan money from your current application?
- YES. If you're transferring during this loan period, you must complete a loan transfer form to ensure that your money is sent to the new institution.
- NO. In this case, you should either:
submit a Request for Reassessment to the Student Services Branch of the BC Ministry responsible for post-secondary education (if you're a BC resident who's applied for BC Student Assistance); or
send a letter to the provincial/territorial government (if you're studying in BC, but have applied for student aid through another province or territory).
The government will reassess your student aid eligibility based on academic year length, and the tuition, book and supply costs at your new school.
If you want to transfer your BC Student Aid to a public institution outside BC or to a private post-secondary institution in BC or elsewhere, you must make sure the institution you're transferring to is "designated" for government student aid.
Questions? Check with the Financial Aid office at your institution or the BC government's Web site: StudentAidBC.