How to Transfer to a Private or Out-of-State College

Transferring to a private or out-of-state college is one thing we excel in. Doing this is quite different than applying to a UC or CSU school. The minimum requirements for transfer vary from college to college, and even from major to major. This is one reason why it’s important to have a plan in place early on, especially if you’re sure you want to transfer. Generally speaking, transferring to private or out-of-state colleges requires the following:

  1. Complete a minimum amount of transferable semester units (usually 30, but this can vary from school to school).

  2. Complete the appropriate English and math requirements, if actually required by the specific college you want to attend.

  3. Complete general education (GE) courses.

  4. Complete courses for the major.

  5. Earn and maintain a competitive grade point average (GPA). If you’re struggling, considering getting outside help with coursework.

  6. Apply on time!

The number one reason students do not consider private or out-of-state colleges is usually the cost. “How can I ever pay for a private or out-of-state education?” This is a legitimate question, but the answer requires a multi-step process:

  1. Identify a school that you would like to attend.

  2. Complete the academic requirements to gain admission.

  3. Apply when the institution first begins accepting applications; not at or near the deadline. This gives you the maximum consideration for institutional scholarships!

  4. Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and CSS/Financial Aid Profile on time.

  5. Submit grade point average (GPA) verification form for Cal Grant Aid (if transferring to a school in California).

  6. Check private resources through the Internet (, scholarship resource books, or hire a consultant to help you.


  • be sure to apply to multiple institutions in the event you do not receive the financial help you need.

  • strategize your transfer options with a counselor.

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