Learn more information about our transfer credit program at American Public University.
By Ryan Laspina
Senior Specialist, Red Flags and External Reviews at APUS
There are many reasons why a student may decide to transfer from one college to another. They may be ready to move on from a community college to a four-year college, they may decide to change from a campus-based school to an online school, or they may be forced to transfer for academic reasons. Either way, students need to understand that transferring amongst colleges can have an impact on their Federal Student Aid (FSA). Below are some scenarios that could come into play.
- Transferring amongst too many schools can get you flagged for Unusual Enrollment History (UEH). Schools may be hesitant to administer FSA to students who are constantly hopping from school to school. This could possibly be a sign of fraud, but it also shows the school that the student may not be a completer.
- For schools, a heavy transfer rate can have a negative impact on their availability to administer performance-based aid. According to Mangan (2015), universities “could be financially penalized for successfully launching the academic careers of students who went on to graduate elsewhere” (pg. 1). The Department of Education wants to see colleges retain their students, so transferring numerous times should be discouraged.
- Many students transfer across state lines, so this can affect availability to financial aid (especially state-specific scholarships) as well as cost of tuition. The difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition can be massive, so that is something to keep in mind if you are thinking of transferring across state lines.
- Transferring amongst schools can cause you to lose credits through the transfer credit process. This can push your expected graduation date back, which in turn can affect your financial aid. If you transfer too many times and lose too many credits, you could possibly meet your aggregate loan and Pell Grant limits and no longer be eligible for those types of FSA.
It should be noted that transferring from one college to another is not always a terrible move. As stated before, sometimes it is necessary to better your situation. However, before you transfer schools, make sure you fully understand how it can affect your FSA. Transferring has become a phenomenon that many schools have to deal with, and it should only be used for legitimate academic or personal reasons.
Learn more information about our transfer credit program
Mangan, Katherine. (2015). Despite Hurdles, Students Keep Switching Colleges. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved from http://chronicle.com