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How To Tell Your University You Are Transferring

Transferring from one university to another is a significant decision that many students make during their academic journey. Whether it’s due to personal reasons, a change in major, or a desire for a different learning environment, it’s important to approach the transfer process professionally and effectively. In this article, we will discuss the steps and strategies for telling your university that you are transferring.

1. Research and Prepare

Before informing your university about your decision to transfer, it’s crucial to conduct thorough research and make the necessary preparations. Consider the following points:

  • Explore potential transfer options: Research different universities or colleges that offer programs aligned with your academic goals. Look into their admission requirements, course offerings, campus culture, and any other factors that are important to you.
  • Evaluate transfer credits: Check whether your credits earned at your current university can be transferred to your desired institution. This will help you understand how your previous coursework will be applied towards your new degree program.
  • Financial considerations: Consider the financial implications of transferring, including tuition costs, scholarships, financial aid, and any potential changes in living expenses. Ensure that you are well-informed about the financial aspects of your transfer.

2. Schedule a Meeting with an Academic Advisor

Meeting with an academic advisor is an essential step in the transfer process. They can provide guidance, answer your questions, and help you navigate the necessary paperwork. Here’s what you should do:

  • Contact your academic advisor: Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor to discuss your intention to transfer. They can provide valuable insights about the transfer process specific to your university and assist you in understanding the academic requirements of your new institution.
  • Prepare necessary documents: Before the meeting, gather all the necessary documents such as your academic transcripts, transfer applications, letters of recommendation, and any other required paperwork. This will help the advisor provide you with accurate and relevant guidance.

3. Compose a Formal Transfer Letter

Writing a formal transfer letter is a professional way to communicate your decision to the university. It ensures that your message is clear, concise, and officially documented. Here are the key elements to include:

  • Heading: Include your full name, student ID number, current university, and contact information at the top of the letter.
  • Salutation: Address the letter to the appropriate university authority, such as the Dean of Admissions or Registrar.
  • Opening paragraph: Clearly state your intention to transfer and the reasons behind your decision. Be honest but tactful in your explanation.
  • Academic achievements: Highlight your academic accomplishments during your time at the university, such as honors, awards, or notable projects. This demonstrates your commitment and dedication to your studies.
  • New institution: Briefly mention the university or college you intend to transfer to and explain why you believe it is a better fit for your academic and personal goals.
  • Closing paragraph: Express your gratitude for the education and opportunities provided by your current university. Thank the university for their support and mention that you look forward to a smooth transfer process.
  • Closing: Use a professional closing, such as “Sincerely” or “Best regards,” followed by your full name and contact information.
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4. Submit Your Transfer Application

After composing your transfer letter, it’s time to officially submit your transfer application. Here’s what you should do:

  • Follow the application guidelines: Review the transfer application guidelines provided by your new institution and ensure that you meet all the requirements. Pay attention to deadlines and submit the application well in advance.
  • Include necessary documents: Attach all the required documents, including your transfer letter, academic transcripts, letters of recommendation, and any other supporting materials specified by the new university.
  • Communicate with the admissions office: Reach out to the admissions office of your new institution to confirm that your application has been received and to inquire about any additional steps or documents required.

5. Informing Relevant University Departments

In addition to submitting your transfer application, it’s important to inform other relevant departments within your current university. This ensures a smooth transition and allows them to handle administrative tasks appropriately. Here’s what you should do:

  • Registrar’s Office: Contact the Registrar’s Office to inform them about your intention to transfer. They can guide you through the process of withdrawing from your current program and provide information regarding the transfer of your academic records.
  • Financial Aid Office: If you receive financial aid or scholarships, notify the Financial Aid Office about your transfer plans. Inquire about any necessary steps to transfer your aid package to the new institution or to understand the impact of your transfer on your financial aid.
  • Housing Department: If you live on-campus, inform the Housing Department about your transfer so they can assist you with the necessary procedures for moving out or transferring your housing arrangements.
  • Other Departments: Depending on your specific circumstances, you may need to inform other departments, such as the Health Center, Student Services, or Career Services. This ensures that your transition is coordinated smoothly and any necessary arrangements can be made.

6. Communicate with Faculty Members

It’s important to inform your professors and academic advisors about your decision to transfer. They can provide guidance, support, and possibly write recommendation letters for your transfer application. Follow these steps:

  • Schedule meetings: Request individual meetings with your professors and academic advisors to discuss your transfer plans. This allows you to explain your reasons for transferring and seek their advice or guidance.
  • Be respectful and professional: Approach these meetings with respect and professionalism. Clearly communicate your decision and express your gratitude for their support and guidance during your time at the university.
  • Request recommendation letters: If you have developed strong relationships with your professors, consider asking them for recommendation letters to support your transfer application. Provide them with any necessary information or forms they may need to complete.
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7. Stay on Top of Deadlines and Requirements

Throughout the transfer process, it’s crucial to stay organized and keep track of deadlines and requirements. Missing important dates or failing to complete necessary tasks can jeopardize your transfer plans. Use the following strategies:

  • Create a checklist: Make a comprehensive checklist of all the tasks, deadlines, and requirements associated with your transfer. This can include submission deadlines, application status checks, required documents, and financial considerations.
  • Set reminders: Utilize calendars, digital reminders, or task management tools to stay on top of important dates. Set reminders for application deadlines, meetings, and any other crucial milestones related to your transfer.
  • Double-check requirements: Regularly review the transfer application guidelines and requirements to ensure that you have fulfilled all the necessary criteria. This includes checking that all required documents have been submitted and that you have completed any required forms or questionnaires.

8. Prepare for Transition

As you prepare to transfer to your new university, there are several important steps you can take to ensure a successful transition. Consider the following:

  • Orientation: Find out if your new university offers an orientation program for transfer students. Attending orientation can help you become familiar with the campus, connect with fellow transfer students, and learn about the resources and services available to you.
  • Housing: If you plan to live on campus at your new university, make sure to complete any housing applications or paperwork within the specified deadlines. Contact the Housing Department for guidance and to secure your housing arrangements.
  • Transfer credits: Follow up with the admissions office or registrar at your new university to verify the transferability of your credits. Provide them with any necessary documentation from your current university to ensure a smooth transfer of your academic records.
  • Financial matters: If there are any outstanding financial obligations or paperwork at your current university, make sure to settle them before your departure. Notify the relevant departments about your transfer and any changes in your financial aid or scholarship status.
  • Notify other parties: Inform any external organizations or institutions that may need to be updated about your transfer. This could include scholarship providers, loan servicers, or any other entities that have a stake in your education.

9. Reflect on Your Decision

Transferring universities can be a significant step in your academic journey, and it’s important to reflect on your decision. Take some time to consider the following:

  • Goals and aspirations: Reflect on your academic and personal goals and how your transfer aligns with them. Evaluate whether the new university will provide you with the opportunities, resources, and environment you desire.
  • Major and career path: Consider how your new university will support your chosen major and career path. Research their program offerings, faculty expertise, internship opportunities, and alumni network.
  • Personal growth: Reflect on how the transfer will contribute to your personal growth and development. Think about the new experiences, perspectives, and challenges you may encounter at the new university.
  • Support system: Assess the availability of support services and resources at the new university. Consider factors such as academic advising, counseling services, extracurricular activities, and student organizations that align with your interests and needs.
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10. Follow Up with Your Current University

After you have completed the transfer process and settled into your new university, it’s important to follow up with your current university to tie up any loose ends and ensure a smooth transition. Here are a few key steps to take:

  • Return any university property: If you borrowed any equipment or materials from your current university, make sure to return them promptly. This could include library books, sports equipment, or any other items that belong to the university.
  • Cancel or transfer services: If you have any ongoing services or subscriptions through your current university, such as gym memberships or email accounts, contact the appropriate departments to cancel or transfer these services to avoid any unnecessary charges or complications.
  • Finalize financial matters: Review your financial accounts with your current university, such as tuition payments, outstanding balances, or any pending refunds. Ensure that all financial matters are resolved and that you have received any necessary documentation.
  • Update contact information: Provide your new contact information to your current university, including your new address, email address, and phone number. This will allow them to reach you if needed and ensure that you receive any future correspondence or transcripts.
  • Express gratitude: Consider sending a thank-you note or email to key faculty members, advisors, or staff at your current university who have supported you during your time there. Express your gratitude for their guidance and assistance.


Telling your university about your decision to transfer requires careful planning, effective communication, and follow-up. By completing these final steps and tying up any loose ends with your current university, you can ensure a smooth transition and maintain positive relationships. Remember to return any university property, cancel or transfer services, finalize financial matters, update your contact information, and express your gratitude. Best wishes for your continued academic success at your new university!

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