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5 Secrets to Financially Preparing for a New College as a Transfer


Whether you’d like to transfer schools because you’re bored or you plan to finish up your degree at a four-year institution, it’s essential to map out the move.

Here’s the deal:

Planning not only makes transferring less stressful, it also allows you to prepare yourself financially. Before deciding on a school to transfer to, compare the pricing of each school to your existing institution.

Learn to be savvy with your finances, and going to school will be stress-free. (Or, at least, a lot more affordable.)

1. Look into student loan forbearance 


While you’re settling into a new town and apartment, all the while gearing up for school, paying student loans may not be doable.

Have you heard of student loan forbearance?

In essence, student loan forbearance makes it so you can pay less money or temporarily pause payments.

There are three kinds of federal loan forbearance: administrative, mandatory, and general.

As a student, you would apply for a general forbearance. More than 1.5 million borrowers use a general forbearance, making it the most popular way to pause student loan payments.

A general forbearance typically lasts for a year. After the year is over, if they choose to, a loaner can extend a forbearance.

The loaner will decide to issue a general forbearance for a variety of reasons, such as:
  • Transferring schools
  • Medical expenses
  • You’re paying more money than expected going back to school and living in a new, expensive area
  • You’re not working so you can’t afford payments
  • You’re struggling with other financial difficulties

Apply for a general forbearance by filling out the general forbearance form. You can also call your loan servicer and ask them to send you one.

Be sure to find out whether or not your forbearance pauses interest as well.

2. Inquire about scholarships


If the new school offers scholarships to transfer students, take the time to apply.

The website may have scholarships meant just for transfer students, and if they do, it’ll be in your best interest to apply.

Transferring to a university that’s more expensive than your existing school means looking for scholarships and ways to cut back.

You can also visit scholarship websites such as scholarships.com or SallieMae.

If you already have a scholarship, make sure you’re still meeting the requirements when you switch schools.

The same goes for an award package. Since it varies by college, transferring can affect how much scholarship money you’ll get moving forward. To financially prepare for the transfer, ask the new school what you can apply for to help pay for some of the expenses.

If possible, find a school that’s a good match for your existing scholarship so you can save money and still achieve your institution goals.

3. Apply for financial aid 


Another way to save money is by applying for financial aid.

To apply for financial aid, fill out a few forms and check to see if you meet the program requirements.

Below are some examples of various types of financial aid:

  • Employer funding
  • State aid
  • Institutional assistance
  • Scholarships (which we just discussed)
  • Private financing
An excellent place to start is applying on The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) website. Use this form to apply for Federal student financial aid in the form of Federal work-study programs, loan programs, and grant programs.

Since students get Federal financial aid on a first-come, first-served basis, it’s vital to stay on top of deadlines and apply as early as possible.

If you plan for institutional assistance, remember that college financial aid deadlines vary by state.

Stay informed of the deadlines so you won’t miss out on any potential ways to save on tuition.

4. Look for off-campus jobs 


Whether or not you’re able to secure a scholarship, another option is to look for off-campus jobs.

Paying for school and an apartment gets expensive. If you want extra spending money having a job is a good idea. Before your transfer to your school research which jobs are available in the area.

When you start attending school, continue your search right away since new jobs pop up daily. Look for flexible jobs and employers who are willing to work with your schedule. Gig jobs work great for flexibility, and there are several that look great on a resume.


5. Be aware of fees and hidden costs  


No, paying an application fee isn’t the end of the world, but the idea is to save however you can.

If you haven’t already applied to transfer to a few schools, create a shortlist and only apply to a few instead of several.

Since according to U.S. News data applying to a new school can cost around $77, you can see how quickly application fees may add up.

There are always hidden costs you may miss when you transfer, so consider everything you spend during the move.

For example, if you’re transferring to change your major, it may cost more money because you’ll be in school for a longer period. Take the time to think about how starting a new major may affect you financially.

Switching majors may be important to you, but the longer you put off having a career after college, the more money you’ll spend while in school.



It’s an exciting time transferring to a new school. Remember to plan ahead financially so that everything goes smoothly.

Preparing financially for the move is possible. Consider all aspects of your choices, such as applying for scholarships, financial aid, and looking for work.

The point is to exhaust all options to save as much money as possible. Exercising due diligence will pay off dividends in the end!

Author Bio:
Kelley Stack is the business manager at Sawyer Place. With over ten years of experience in Manhattan managing luxury properties, she begins and ends each day loving what she does.


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