College is like clothing, in that everyone should be comfortable and it should be a good fit. Sometimes we think something is comfortable and fits well but ultimately it just might not. If you've found that Oswego just isn't the right fit for you or believe that you need go elsewhere to achieve your goals, here are some steps to follow and some information to help you make the transition from Oswego to your new college.
Things to consider:
1. Ask yourself why you want to transfer. Sometimes what we THINK we want is not really what we want. Is the problem with the school itself or is it an issue with a roommate or professor? Do we not offer a major you really want or are you unsure of what major you really want? The transfer process can be long and difficult so make sure that you're going through it for the right reasons.
2. Think about your finances. If you've received a scholarship from Oswego than you won't be able to take that with you when you transfer. Another important thing to keep in mind is that most schools do not offer a large quantity or large dollar amounts of scholarships for transfer students. You also need to think about the possibility that it may take you longer to get your degree if you transfer because not all of your classes may transfer to another school. Not only is transferring a difficult process but it can also be a costly process over the long term.
3. Think about your graduation goals. Transferring from one school to another can really have an impact on the length of time that you'll be able to graduate. When you transfer, depending on where you transfer to, not all of your credits from Oswego may be accepted. This may set you back in your graduation timeline. Make sure, as you're looking at possible new schools, that you're getting a clear picture of how long it will take you to graduate. Remember that in college, time spent is money spent.
4. Transferring is HARD! The most important thing to keep in mind is that transferring is a difficult process. It can be just as stressful, if not more so, than when you first came to Oswego. Transferring from one school to another is a completely different process than entering a school as a freshman. It's also more difficult to get financial aid as a transfer as well as make friends and get courses for your first semester. For these reasons, it's important that you REALLY think about whether or not transferring is the right choice.
Steps to follow:
Get a contact
Most schools have someone in their admissions office who specifically handles transfer students. This person is the best person to talk to at your new institution to get all the information needed to make a smooth transfer from Oswego to your new college. Check out the admissions webpages of the schools you are interested in to find out who might be best able to help you. Typically, you'll want to find someone with the title of Transfer Coordinator, Transfer Counselor, or Transfer Admissions Representative, but these folks can go by other titles as well. If you're unsure who to talk to, just call the main admissions number and ask to speak with a transfer admissions counselor. Even if they don't have someone with that title, they'll get you in touch with the right person.
Visit and apply
It's important that you not make the same mistake twice so make sure that you are getting all the information needed to help you make a decision about which school is right for you. Try to think of all things that don't feel right about Oswego and then be mindful of those things as you visit potential new schools. Ask questions about services for transfer students, scholarships, advisement, orientation, class size, degree programs, and anything else that you are specifically looking for. Once you've decided on where you'd like to go, follow the schools admissions procedures. Even if it is another SUNY school, every school has different procedures that they want you to follow.
Send your transcript
The colleges that you are interested in are going to want to see how you've been doing while you've been here so you'll want to make sure that you send them a copy of your transcript. Most colleges want the transcript sent to their admissions office but not all of them so make sure you check with each school. SUNY Oswego transcripts can be requested at www.oswego.edu/transcript. There is a small fee for each transcript requested. Another thing to keep in mind is that when you transfer, the colleges you're applying to are using the transcript to make a decision whether or not to accept you, but they also need the transcript to help get you registered for classes. They make ask you to send a "final transcript" that indicates the grades you received in all of your current classes so you may have to send two transcripts at two different times to the same school.
Wait for acceptance
It's easy to be anxious about going to a new school and so you may start doing things that really need to wait. Make sure that you don't withdraw from the college or make plans at a new school until you're sure that you've been accepted there and have decided to go there. Once you've been accepted and provide the new school with a deposit indicating that you'll be attending, then you can start going through the process of leaving Oswego.
Withdraw from the college
When you've been accepted to your new college and you've made a decision to really leave Oswego, then you need to take some steps to make sure that we remove you from our system. This process is in place to ensure that you're not billed for anything once you've left.
If you are currently living on campus, please contact the Residence Life and Housing office for instructions on how to withdraw.
If are not returning but have registered for classes, PRIOR TO THE START OF THE SEMESTER, you can email the Registrars Office at firstname.lastname@example.org, from your oswego.edu email, and let them know they are not returning.
ONCE THE SEMESTER BEGINS, if you decide not to return to Oswego and you have registered for classes, you will need to complete a College Withdrawal form through the Compass in 145 Marano Campus Center.
Listen to the new school
Once you've been accepted at your new school, you're going to start getting a lot of information from them regarding orientation, housing, meals and so much more. Make sure that you're reading all of this material as it will tell you what your next steps should be. Every school is different in what they would like their new students to do so it's important that you not assume anything and simply follow their instructions.