Step by Step Guide to Transfer Planning and Applying
Transferring to a four-year college or university is a multi-step process. It is never too early to start thinking about transfer. We offer a number of workshops, events and resources to help you with the planning process. We’ve broken the process up into four main parts: Prepare, Explore, Apply, and Decide.
For more comprehensive guide, visit our Transfer Planning and Applying Guide
Build a Network of Support
- Meet with your advisor! Share with your advisor or your HOPE advisor your academic, career, and transfer goals.
- Get to know the faculty in your department and participate in class. Many schools require that you submit letter of recommendation from faculty when you apply for transfer.
- Start learning about transfer. Attend a Transfer 101 Workshop, meet with visiting Admissions representatives or stop by a Transfer Fair.
- Save your syllabi from all of your BHCC courses. You may need these when you transfer.
Choose and Academic and Career Pathway
- Choose a major that is best aligned with your transfer goals and stay on track for graduation.
- Do some Career Exploration and complete Career Coach to help you clarify your interests and skills and find career areas to explore.
- Attend a Career Exploration 101 workshop
- Once you complete Career Coach and Career Exploration 101, discuss what you learned with your advisor.
- Sign up for Commonwealth Commitment!
Getting Involved on Campus and in Your Community
Position Yourself to be Academically Successful
- Make every effort to earn good grades. Good grades are tied to additional transfer benefits, such as scholarships and guaranteed admissions.
- Are there areas of your academics that could use more attention? Explore offices such as MathSpace, College Connection, Tutoring and Academic Support Center, the Writing Place, and Language Lab.
Financing your Education
Search for Colleges
During your time at Bunker Hill Community College, we encourage you to research and connect with four-year colleges. We encourage a combination of MassTransfer, Transfer Guarantee, BHCC Partnerships, and other colleges you find. Visit our Transfer Partnerships page.
Colleges visiting BHCC
- BHCC regularly hosts admissions representatives from area colleges and universities, see who is coming on our calendar to the right.
- Many colleges work closely with Transfer Services to facilitate visits to the campus for our Transfer Fairs, tabling, one-on-one appointments. Please visit our College Visits and Transfer Events page to register for a virtual and on-campus college visits.
- Remember, this is a time for you to learn more about the colleges, and for their staff to learn about you. In fact, many admissions counselors work closely with members on selection committees, and can advocate for your application if you make a good first impression.
Plan Transferable Classes
Visit our Transfer Partnership page to see how our articulation agreements with New England colleges and other transfer opportunities
Make connections with the colleges you are interested in
- Visit college websites to see if they offer any campus tours, information sessions, open houses, or other events for prospective students. Visit colleges at least one semester ahead of your final semester at BHCC.
- Contact the admissions departments at colleges that you think you might want to apply to. Many colleges offer open houses and information sessions for prospective students.
Questions to ask College Admissions professionals
When attending college events at BHCC, we encourage you to come prepared with a list of questions you might ask the admissions counselors. You can refer to our Getting Ready for the Transfer Fair document for examples of well-informed questions to ask an admissions counselor.
Consider what you would value in a college and what you need to be successful. Some questions may look like:
What research programs are available to students in my major?
What do students in my major do when they graduate? Do they work? Attend graduate school?
Does your college offer have internship programs?
What clubs and organizations are most popular?
Do they offer co-curricular opportunities? Clubs? Organizations? Honors Programs? Athletics? Internships? Study abroad?
Are there scholarships for transfer students?
What are the requirements to be accepted?
What’s the process like after the application is completed?
What resources exist for transfer students?
Can you tell me about counseling and tutoring services?
Creating your College List
- Create a list of 5-10 colleges of interests, as the FAFSA and CSS Profile allow a 10 college maximum.
- Include colleges that could be a guaranteed admission, colleges that are a good match for you, and competitive colleges.
Use our Transfer Worksheet to help keep track of certain qualities you are looking for in a college:
- Do they have my major? Do the required courses meet my expectations? Is it clear what I will be able to do for a career with this major?
- What is the tuition and fees?
- Does the location work for me?
- Do they offer classes when I am available? Days? Nights? Weekends? Online?
- Do I have the option to be part-time student or full-time?
- Can I live on-campus?
- Do they offer scholarships for transfer students?
- What is the deadline for application? To apply for financial aid?
- What are the requirements for application? Will I need to write an essay? Supply recommendations, etc.?
Transfer 101 Video: Prepare and Explore
Before meeting with an advisor, we encourage you to attend a Transfer 101 Workshop. You can do so by attending a registering in real time (https://go.oncehub.com/TransferWorkshops) that will provide in-depth information or view our Transfer 101: Prepare & Explore video which is a brief overview of the transfer process. The workshops in video and real-time conclude with steps you can take to prepare for a meeting with a transfer advisor.
Your goal is to have choices, to have more than one college accept you. This means you should apply to multiple colleges. Be aware of costs, but do not limit your choices at this point based on cost. Visit the transfer admissions website for each college or call the admissions department at those colleges for application instructions, required documents, and application deadlines.
When do I apply to transfer? When is the deadline to transfer?
- Every college will have their own transfer deadline. The deadlines can be found on the college admissions webpage.
- Most commonly, colleges admit students for Fall and Spring semesters. Some colleges allow students to enter during the summer. But keep in mind that not all colleges accept students each semester. Some only have a Fall entry option.
Generally, a student will apply to a four-year college during their final semester at BHCC.
What is the process of transferring? What is required for transferring? Which application do I use?
- All colleges require the completion of an application and submission of an official transcript.
- It is important to check the four-year college webpage to see the specific materials needed.
College Reports and Midterm Reports
If you are applying to colleges for the Fall or Spring, some four-year colleges require the College Report and/or Mid-Term Report through the Common Application.
- Fill out the section of the College Report labeled “To the Applicant” on the first page. Please note that for a representative of BHCC to complete this documentation on your behalf, you will first need to complete the “To the Applicant” section questions and then make sure that the document is signed before uploading the application to the Transfer Cover Sheet.
- Fill out the Transfer Cover Sheet by listing all the colleges you are applying to that request the College Report.
- Be sure to upload the College Report to the Transfer Cover Sheet. (If you print anything to fill out, you can scan or take a picture of the form to upload it).
- Once you have completed the Transfer Cover Sheet and uploaded your documentation, click the submit button at the bottom of the screen. You will receive an email confirming your submission to your BHCC email.
The form will be sent directly to Academic Records. Once completed, Academic Records will email the form to the colleges that the student listed on their Transfer Cover Sheet. Academic Records will send the student an email letting them know their college report has been completed and sent to the colleges requested.
Mid Term Reports
A Mid-Term Report Report need to be completed by your current professors; please email your professors and ask that they print and fill out the attached document and send it back to you. Send the Mid-Term Report to the contact information found on the Common Application.
MassTransfer and Massachusetts Transfer Guarantee Applications
- Application. Fill out the MassTransfer Application for any of the participating MassTransfer colleges. Colleges in the Massachusetts Transfer Guarantee will have their own applications on their admissions websites.
- Official Transcripts. Send transcripts from each college attended via the to the receiving college. Order your BHCC official transcript.
- CSS Profile. (if applicable)
Other College Application Requirements
All colleges will have their application requirements on their admissions websites. Please be prepared to send the following information:
- College Application
- ·Official Academic Transcript
- College Report
- CSS Profile (if applicable)
- Letters of Recommendation
- Personal Statements
Application Fee Waivers, Scholarship, and assistance with financial planning
- Please visit our Paying for Four-Year College page to being research on scholarships.
- ·Fee waivers are available to students who fill out the Request for Admission Application Fee Waiver. Be sure to include each college in your request.
- ·You may also visit MassEdco for assistance in finding scholarship and completing FAFSA and the CSS Profile.
A benefit to the Common App is that you can see all the requirements of the application when you select the colleges of your choice.
FAFSA & CSS Profile
- Complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Include the school codes for all the schools you are applying to on your FAFSA application. Be aware of each college’s deadlines for applying for financial aid, they may be earlier than the application deadline.
- Many colleges using the Common Application also require that you complete the College Board CSS/Financial Aid Profile. View directions on how to complete the CSS/Financial Aid Profile.
- Need help completing FAFSA or the CSS Profile? No problem! Schedule a virtual appointment with MassEdco, which has appointments specifically for BHCC students.
Letters of Recommendation
Some colleges will require that you submit letters of recommendations. Give your professors, advisors, and other writers at least one month’s notices. Review our How to Request a Recommendation and Request Form.
NOTE: If you are applying as MassTransfer or Massachusetts Transfer Guarantee student, you do not need to submit letters of recommendation.
Essay & Personal Statements
- Many colleges require a student to submit an essay and or personal statements as part of an application. This information should be on the transfer admissions website and the Common Application.
- Start this process early and make sure to read the directions carefully, you may have to answer specific questions. Review Writing Your Transfer Essay.
- Visit the Writing Place at BHCC for essay writing support and attend a Transfer Essay workshop:
NOTE: If you are applying to a MassTransfer college, you do not need to submit an essay.
Request transcripts early. You must supply individual transcripts from all colleges attended. Order an official BHCC transcript.
SAT or ACT scores
Most colleges do not require the SAT’s or ACT’s for transfer applicants.
If an institution presents standardized tests as an application requirement, find practice sites online and study before you take the test. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to see if we have SAT Exam fee waivers available.
TOEFL or IELTS scores
If the colleges require TOEFL or IELTS scores, the BHCC Language Lab has excellent help for the test preparation.
Exceptions to TOEFL or IELTS:
- If a student is using a MassTransfer pathway to apply to a UMASS Campus or State University, and have maintained a 2.5 GPA, then the student does not need to complete TOEFL.
- Some colleges may have exceptions to the tests. Be sure to check a college website.
- A student can also reach out to an admissions office and ask if they may be considered for a waiver if there is no formal process in place.
Finalizing Your Transfer Applications
- Once you have collected and finalized all your materials you are ready to submit your applications.
- Upon completion, you will receive confirmation messages that your application has been submitted successfully. You will have a short time frame to wait to hear of acceptances.
- While we encourage you to explore colleges before applying, you might take this time to revisit some of your notes and past conversations with admissions counselors and other advisors.
When you are accepted, you receive a few things: directions on how to enroll and how to sign up for classes, the evaluated courses showing how they will transfer, how to pay tuition and fees, your financial aid award.
Reviewing acceptance letter(s)
When you receive an acceptance, you will likely have new information that may affect your decision. This includes the deadline to decide if you will attend their college and when to submit the non-refundable deposit.
Note that acceptance to another college will include the following the three items:
- Acceptance Letter
- Course-by-Course Evaluation
- Financial Aid Award
A college that has accepted you really wants you to attend. The admissions office expects questions. If you haven’t visited already, schedule an appointment/tour at the college to help you decide.
Review and Appeal your Financial Aid Package
It is also important to review the financial aid award letter. This letter will outline the financial support you will receive, including federal financial aid, federal loans, MassTransfer benefits (if applicable), and institutional grants and scholarships. Remember that private colleges will determine financial need as reflected in the FAFSA and CSS Profile.
If the financial aid award is preventing you from attending, ask if they can offer you more aid. The financial aid appeal process is encouraged, and requires writing a detailed letter outlining special circumstances or any other details that may have changed or not included in FAFSA or CSS.
Reviewing (and appealing) transfer credit
It is critical that your courses at BHCC and other colleges are being applied appropriately to a bachelor degree program. If you feel your transfer credit is not being utilized to the fullest extent, then consider writing to the admissions or registrar’s office to discuss appeals and substitutions for courses from your prior coursework. Read more on tips for appealing transfer credit.
Officially accepting or declining your institution’s acceptance
Once you feel comfortable with one college, be sure to adhere to the deadlines to accept or decline. The college you choose will require an enrollment deposit.
Submitting Official BHCC transcript
As a final requirement for your admittance, you will be required to send in an official transcript after final grades are posted or after your degree or certificate has been awarded. If you will be taking additional courses to complete your degree prior to attending (such as summer classes), be sure to discuss this with the college of your choosing.
Attend Orientation and Registration Programs
Attend the earliest session offered to you.