One common myth about college transfers is that they only happen in the fall. For students who want to know “when can I transfer,” the real answer is: whenever you want.

Many students still associate fall with the beginning of the school year, but that is not the case in college. Students can start at a new school in January or the summer semester, too. As with online education, the idea is that college transfers should make higher education more convenient for students. Part of that approach involves generous transfer policies, such as those practiced at New England College. At NEC, the transfer policy allows for up to 90 incoming credits as well as evaluation of military experience or training for potential credit.

Reasons to Transfer

Students cite many reasons for wanting to transfer to a new school. Typically, they involve a college or university not living up to their academic or social standards, according to U.S. News and World Report. Others may find their current school is simply not the “right fit” and that another school offers stronger courses in their chosen major.

Don’t Wait Until Fall

For students who know they want to transfer in the fall, waiting a year to make the move is not a good strategy. Instead, they should strive to meet the transfer application deadlines for the school’s next academic semester. Applying for the spring or summer semesters makes more sense because you do not fall behind on earning college credits.

Can I Transfer After One Semester?

Another common misconception is that students must spend a whole year at a university before they transfer out. That is not the case. You can transfer after just one semester at a school. Once you know you want to transfer, there is no reason to wait.

Will All My Credits Transfer?

This is where a fair, generous transfer policy comes into play.

At NEC, the Office of Admissions considers all credit transfer requests. Each request is evaluated based on how it compares to coursework offered at NEC. Credits also are judged on whether they are applicable to NEC’s Liberal Core Curriculum and major requirements.

NEC transfer credit evaluators seek input from department heads and faculty to ensure credits granted are based on current academic information. NEC only considers transfer credits from regionally accredited colleges in accordance with recommendations from the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers.

Make a Plan

Once you know you want to transfer, certain steps make the process run smoothly. They include the following, according to the Princeton Review.

  • Check the transfer application deadline for each semester. You don’t have to wait to apply in the fall.
  • Ask for recommendation letters from current college professors.
  • Letters of recommendation from high school may still apply if you are in the first semester of your freshman year.
  • Look into potential financial aid offered to transfer students.

Once you’ve made the decision, the time to act is now. Starting at your new school in January or in the summer semester can keep you on track for graduating on time. For those wondering “when can I transfer,” there’s no reason to wait.