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Transfer Timeline

Picking a transfer college or university is a big decision. You want to make sure you are picking the college that is right for you. Starting to explore and research transfer options early is a good way to ensure that you make a smooth transition to your 4-year college.

This timeline covers the basics of transferring and gives you an idea of what you should be doing and when. Remember transfer planning is not a one-time event. You should be talking with your academic advisor or visiting the Advising Center in ORB 101 to talk about transferring every semester to make sure you are on track.

Semester 1
  • REFLECT ON YOUR INTERESTS, goals, values, and future career(s).
  • ATTEND TRANSFER EVENTS ON THE NWC CAMPUS such as webinars, college visits, and transfer fairs.
  • MEET YOUR ADVISOR and discuss your transfer plans.
Semester 2
  • RESEARCH POTENTIAL TRANSFER INSTITUTIONS potential transfer institutions by looking at college websites, talking with admissions representatives (in person, on the phone, or through email), and visiting campuses, if you can.  Look for schools with streamlined transfer and articulation agreements with NWC.
  • CREATE A LIST OF THREE OR FOUR COLLEGES that match your goals, interests, and academic record.
  • TRACK DEADLINES for applying, financial aid, and scholarships.
Semester 3
  • COMPLETE COLLEGE APPLICATIONS, FASFA (as early as October 1st), and make sure you turn in any materials (transcripts, immunization records, recommendations, scholarships) before the college or universities’ deadline.
  • VISIT COLLEGES and universities that you plan to apply to if you haven’t already.
Semester 4
  • COMPARE COURSES AND CREDITS that will transfer, and your financial aid packages for each college.
  • DOUBLE CHECK IMPORTANT DATE AND DEADLINES for deposits, registration, and other college requirements.
  • ATTEND ORIENTATION and other events specifically for transfer students at your new college or university.
Every Semester
  • SET OR REFLECT ON YOUR GOALS for your future career, education, and transfer.
  • ENSURE YOU ARE ON TRACK TO GRADUATE on time by meeting with your advisor. Make sure you are taking the right classes and completing at least 15 credits each semester.
  • VISIT WITH THE ACADEMIC AND CAREER ADVISING COORDINATOR in the Advising Center in ORB 101 to make sure that you take the right courses to meet degree requirements at your transfer college or university.
Other Things to Consider
  • CAREER ASSESSMENTS can help you clarify your interests, values, and skills, and help you select a career and major that are right for you.
  • CONNECT EARLY AND OFTEN WITH YOUR TRANSFER COLLEGE. You won’t learn everything in one visit or phone conversation, and sometimes things change along the way. If you are interested in UW, sign up for transfer advance early.
  • COMPLETE YOUR ASSOCIATES DEGREE WITH NWC. You’re almost always better off transferring after you completed your associate's of art or science.
  • ASK FOR ADVICE as you make choices about your future career, major, and transferring. An advisor shouldn’t make the decision for you, but they can help you think through the options and weigh the positives and negatives.
  • BUILD RELATIONSHIPS WITH FACULTY early by talking after class and visiting during office hours. You are going to want strong recommendations when you apply to colleges, and you need to have built positive relationships with faculty to get them.

Applying to Colleges

Applying to college can be intimidating. Giving yourself plenty of time to complete the application, write any required essays, get recommendations, and turn in any supplemental materials like immunization records etc.

Below is a detailed list of steps to take when applying to colleges and universities. If you want any help applying to a college you can drop by ORB 101 and we can help you complete the application. If you are having any problems completing an application or have application specific questions, it is best to contact the admissions office of the college you are completing the application for.

  • KNOW THE DEADLINES for applying to colleges. Make sure you give yourself enough time to complete the application and turn it in on time.
  • COMPLETE YOUR APPLICATION. You may also be required to pay an application fee. If you are planning on transferring to UW sign up for Transfer Advance to have the $40 application fee waived.
  • SEND OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPTS to the college or university you plan to transfer to. Transcripts can be ordered online through the National Student Clearing House. Transcripts cost $5 and have a $2.50 processing fee. If you have any questions you can contact Registration and Records. If you attended other colleges or universities, you will need to send transcripts from them also.
    • If you send a transcript before your final grades are posted, you will need to send another one after grades have been posted.
  • COMPLETE THE FASFA to get Pell grants, loans, work-study jobs, and some scholarships.
  • Apply for scholarships.
  • SEND IMMUNIZATION RECORDS. You can get a copy at the NWC Student Health Service.
  • ARRANGE FOR HOUSING.
  • SUBMIT SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIALS such as essays, references, ACT/SAT scores, and high school transcripts, etc.
  • CHECK FOR MAJOR SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS. Some majors have an additional application process or extra application requirements, so make sure you complete any major requirements.
  • TALK WITH THE ADMISSIONS DEPARTMENT at the college you are applying to.Make sure that you turned in all the materials that are needed for your application.

After You Are Accepted

Getting accepted to a college or university is not the end of the process. Often transfer colleges have other steps that they want you complete after being accepted. Some examples include:

  • Signing into your college portal
  • Registering for new student orientation
  • Applying for scholarships
  • Signing up for on-campus housing
  • Completing online training

Often colleges will email or mail you a list of next steps so make sure you follow through on them. If at any time you have questions about what your next steps are, call or email the admissions office of the college you are transferring to.

Articles About Transferring