International students studying in USA universities can certainly consider the transfer option to another university. Often, students wanting to study in the USA are not admitted to their chosen universities for various reasons. In addition, students look for a transfer option if they are not able to meet their career goals due to the current university’s course and curriculum. According to the National Center of Education Statistics, 2.5 million students get transferred each year in the USA. If you are an international student planning to transfer universities, here’s a simple step by step process to help you with How to Transfer Universities in the USA!
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Can I Transfer Universities as an International Student?
International students can transfer to universities in the USA where they are already enrolled. This means leaving the university where you are already registered and enrolling at a new American University or College. You are eligible to pursue the original degree or may select a new degree program depending on your program, the university and the time of your transfer. Below are some common reasons why international students look for a transfer:
- Due to the financial constraints
- Looking for a change in subjects but the current university does not permit that.
- Looking for a new rewarding program
- Experiencing culture shock
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What are the Different Options Available?
It is important to keep a track of deadlines while looking for transfer options. Also, be aware of the application process and schedule of transferring. There are three options available for International students:
- Transferring from a 4-year university to another US University
- Transferring from 2-year community college to a 4-year educational institution
- Transferring from a local university outside the USA
Consult Your Academic Advisor
Each university and college has its own transferring policies on how to transfer universities in the USA. It is necessary to seek advice from academic advisors or student counsellors. The academic consultant who is also known as a Designated School Official (DSO) can help you regarding the type of documents you need to gather, estimated costs and make sure to make any changes in a student visa if required.
What is the Process of Transferring Universities in the USA?
The process of how to transfer universities in the USA varies as per your current university, program and future university you are considering to get enrolled in. Depending on the conditions of transfer, there may be specific transfer requirements you must follow. There are three options that are available to international students:
Four-Year University to Another US University
Four-year US universities provide undergraduate degrees. Below is the process the follows on how to transfer universities in USA:
- Academic Transfer: This means determining the credits earned at the present institution to the university where you are likely to get registered. It entails you have the necessary credits to begin your journey or continue an existing program at the new university.
- Immigration Transfer: The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) maintain the information that covers the status of an international student and ensures the transfer to the new institute.
Community College to Four-Year University
It provides the education same as a four-year university in the USA comparatively at lower costs. You have much time to explore the field where you are interested and finally commence your transfer process from community college to another college or four-year university.
Home University to US University
Earning your degree in your home country and then moving to the US university for graduation prepares you for university life in a familiar environment that can help you adapt more quickly when you arrive in the United States. Make sure you are academically eligible to meet the admission deadlines. In other cases, if the admission requirements are not fulfilled then you are required to complete extra classes in a US university.
Note: Different colleges and universities in the USA have their own transfer policies, it is suggested to visit the official website and understand their particular rules!
Documents Required to Transfer Universities in the USA
When applying for enrollment in a transfer university in the USA, international students must submit the following documents:
- Official academic transcripts
- English proficiency tests such as IELTS and TOEFL
- SAT/ACT or GRE test scores
- A valid I-20
- A valid F1 or J1 visa
- Letters of recommendation
- Application Fee
Note: I-20 is a multipurpose document issued by the legal US educational institution to certify that you are admitted to a full-time study program and have enough financial resources.
Student Visa Requirements
A student visa is extremely important no matter where you study. Certain university programs may require a J-1 or M-1 student visa and an F1 visa may stop you from getting enrolled. Whereas, some specific institutions may ask for an F-1 student visa. For example, the programs approved by the Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs need a J-1 student visa and the programs approved by Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) require an F-1 student visa. Therefore, visa requirements become an important factor in deciding to transfer to another university. For all this information, you need to contact the visa authority to find out about the exact status of your case.
Note: J-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa issued by the United States government to students who enrol in exchange programs. The F-1 visa allows full-time students to enter the United States at an accredited university or college.
Clear Your Financial Obligations
Changing universities involves a certain amount of financial planning, as study costs vary from university to university. Therefore, you may have to pay more if your new college is more expensive than your current one. If you move in the middle of the year, you may not be eligible for loans and scholarships as you may have used them at your current college. In addition, candidates must settle all financial obligations to their current university. Each college sets a date after which you must pay the full costs for that semester. If you switch to the chosen university before that date, you can expect a refund. Therefore, it is important that you get an accurate picture of your financial contributions from your current institute before moving.
Now that you know how to transfer universities in the USA, be confident and start planning the next step in your education! We at Leverage Edu provide end-to-end services to the students looking for a study abroad journey! Call us on 1800 57 2000 and get 30 minutes of free counselling sessions from our mentors.