Top Ten Transfer Tips
Smooth your path to a bachelor’s degree with the tried-and-true tips below.
- Let an expert help -- for free!
- Know you deadlines
- Protect your GPA
- Pick a major early
- Consider all your options
- Expand your local choices
- Apply to multiple schools
- Figure out finances
- Balance school with work and personal commitments
- Keep your eye on the prize
TIP 1: Let an expert help—for free!
- Academic counselors know the ins and outs of the transfer process better than anyone;
use their skills! Call 650-306-3452 for a free appointment.
- Check out the Transfer Center’s workshops and in-person visits from university representatives:
TIP 2: Know your deadlines
Every year, we hear from students who have to wait an entire extra year to transfer
because they missed the application deadline. Don’t let this happen to you!
- UC and CSU deadline for Fall: November 30th of the previous year
- CSU deadline for Spring: August 31st (UCs do not accept students for Spring term.)
- Apply for transfer guarantee programs early to allow time for processing.
- Register as soon as classes open to make sure you get what you need.
- Enter drop and withdrawal deadlines on your calendar, just in case. http://canadacollege.edu/admissions/calendar.php
- Plan extra time before scholarship deadlines to review and proofread your application.
- Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible
before the deadline to get the most aid: https://fafsa.ed.gov/.
TIP 3: Protect your GPA
The minimum GPA for CSU admission is 2.0, and for UC, it’s 3.0. However, higher GPAs
are required for certain majors and campuses. A GPA over 3.5 can open doors to better
schools and even free tuition.
- Take a study skills class to up your game for the demands of college.
- Make use of free drop-in tutoring in the Learning Center, Building 9.
- Plan extra study time for intensive courses like math, and balance your schedule with
a mix of easier and harder classes.
- Talk to your teacher early if you are struggling in class.
- Pay attention to drop and withdrawal deadlines.
- Ask a counselor about Academic Renewal for low grades.
- Erase a D or F from your transcript by retaking the class for a better grade.
- Make use of the Disability Resource Center if you have a learning disability or suspect
you might. Testing is free for qualified students, and reasonable accommodations are
required by law. http://canadacollege.edu/disabilityresourcecenter/index.php
TIP 4: Pick a major early
The sooner you choose a major, the more classes you can pick that fulfill multiple
requirements at once. That can save you time—and money—on your road to transfer.
- Not sure where to start? General education requirements are a good way to explore
- Still not sure? Sometimes figuring out what career you’d like can show you the major
you’ll need to get there.
TIP 5: Consider all your options
Think you can’t afford a UC or private school, or that you have to stay local because
of work or family? You may have more options than you realize!
- The Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan makes UCs affordable for lower income students.
- Talk to a counselor or school financial aid office about scholarships for students
with a 3.5 GPA or higher. Some students can attend private schools for less money
than a CSU!
- Ask about subsidized childcare and housing for students with families.
- Check out the fully online CSU bachelor’s programs: https://www.calstateonline.net/Programs.
- Research the best schools for your major and other interests to make the most of networking
opportunities at the university level.
- Ask an academic counselor for advice about the best schools for you.
TIP 6: Expand your local choices
San José State and San Francisco State have both been impacted for years. If you have
to stay local because of a job or family commitments, check out the additional options
TIP 7: Apply to multiple schools
At minimum, apply to a Target, Reach, and Safety school.
- Target: a school you can almost certainly get into with your GPA, and which offers
the major and other features you want.
- Reach: a dream school that you could potentially get into, but is slightly more competitive.
- Safety: a school for which you are slightly overqualified.
- Talk to an academic counselor about which schools fit these categories for you.
TIP 8: Figure out financing
- See the “Consider your options” section above for important transfer tips.
- Various schools may be more affordable and family-friendly than you think!
- Fill out the FAFSA as soon as possible to get the most free aid: https://fafsa.ed.gov/.
- Apply for scholarships.
- Ask your employer if tuition support is available.
- Consider loans carefully. Borrowing too much or too little can limit your options in different ways.
- Would borrowing money allow you to finish sooner and realistically start earning a
- What is the actual earning potential of jobs you are likely to get after graduation?
- Will your loan payment be affordable?
- Is the brand recognition or networking potential of a more prestigious school worth
- Take advantage of help at Cañada:
TIP 9: Balance school with work and personal commitments
TIP 10: Keep your eyes on the prize!
Completing all the requirements for transfer takes time and dedication, but it’s worth
it! For inspiration and more tips, check out these transfer success stories from former
Cañada students: http://www.canadacollege.edu/a2b/icantransfer.php.