Student Guide to Transferring

Transferring to a four-year college or university can be overwhelming and even a bit confusing. This page has been designed to guide Ivy Tech Community College students from thinking about transferring to completing the first semester at their new institution. This step-by-step process will assist you in making the best possible choices as a transfer student.

Before You Start the Transfer Process
Transfer Terminology: Before you start the process, below are some basic definitions that will aid you in the transfer process:
  • Transfer: The process of completing course work at one institution and transferring credit to another.
  • Transfer Credit: The acceptance of course work by an institution other than the one where the course work was completed.
  • Receiving Institution: The institution you will attend after Ivy Tech. Receiving institutions can grant transfer credits to individual courses or to entire degree programs.
  • Residency Requirement: An established policy at a college or university that requires a certain percentage of classes or a number of credit hours be completed at its institution before granting a degree to a student. Check with your receiving institution for their specific policy before initiating the transfer process.
  • Sending Institution: The institution where you have completed course work and from where you are transferring. In your case, Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana is the sending institution.

Rules of Transfer: Before you begin the transfer process, it is important to understand the following:

  • You are responsible to find out what courses the receiving institution will accept from Ivy Tech Community College. Visit the TransferIN website to look up which courses will transfer or contact your campus' Transfer Advocate.
  • Even though a course may transfer, it is not a guarantee that it will apply directly towards your specific degree. Check with your Academic Advisor or the Office of Admissions at your receiving institution for specific information.
  • Course transfers typically have a minimum grade requirement - usually, a "C" or higher for transfer credits.
  • Transfer credits are frequently subject to time limitations. If your credits are several years old, the receiving institution may not consider them for transfer. Check with your receiving institution about their policy on transfer credit.
  • Receiving institutions may require detailed information about the courses you have completed. If your receiving institution is uncertain about the equivalency of your completed course work, visit our official course outlines website. Also, you are encouraged to retain the syllabus of any course you may want to transfer.
  • It is also recommended that students inquire about scholarship opportunities for transfer students from the receiving institution's Office of Admissions or Office of Financial Aid.
While You Navigate the Transfer Process

Planning your transfer

The first step in planning your transfer is to find out if there is a transfer agreement that fits your academic goal. There are many agreements around the state, and your campus' Transfer Advocate will be able to assist you with identifying programs in your area.

You should also visit college and university websites and record information about transfer opportunities (you'll find these links on our Transfer webpage). Typically, these sites feature the following information:

  • Admission requirements and criteria
  • Application information and deadlines
  • Information regarding transfer agreements with Ivy Tech
  • Cost of tuition and housing
  • Type of degree awarded and available programs of study (majors)
  • Scholarship information
  • Opportunities to participate in student life & activities

Additionally, contact the Office of Admissions and arrange a campus visit and tour.

Developing a transfer plan

Once you have narrowed your choice of places to transfer, create a written Transfer Plan that will help you weigh the positives and negatives of each institution. Your transfer plan should include:

  • Admission requirements
  • Application deadline
  • Cost of attendance
  • Availability of your chosen academic program (major)
  • The number of courses that will transfer
  • The number of transferred courses that can be applied towards you degree
  • The estimated time it will take to complete the degree
  • Opportunities for financial assistance and scholarships

Applying to your institution of choice

Once you have completed your Transfer Plan contact each school's Office of Admissions directly and inquire about the application process and deadlines.

In general, you should expect to:

  • Complete an application for admission.
  • Submit official Ivy Tech transcripts (transcripts may be obtained from the Office of the Registrar on your campus).
  • Visit the campus and attend an orientation session prior to the beginning of your first semester
  • Update your financial aid information with your new institution. Detailed information about steps to follow for financial aid is provided in the "Financial Aid Considerations" section of this site

Financial Aid considerations

  • Federal aid - Once you have been admitted to the school of your choice, you should arrange for the transfer of your financial aid. Go to and update your information. Be sure you have your student PIN #. Changes may be made by selecting the "Make Corrections to a Processed FAFSA" icon and adding your new school's information.
  • State aid - If you receive financial aid through the State of Indiana, including the Frank O'Bannon Award, or awards provided through the 21st Century Scholars Program and wish to transfer the aid, please take one of the following actions:
    1. Contact the State's Student Assistance Commission at 1-888-528-4719.
    2. Send written notification to: State Student Assistance Commission of Indiana (SSACI), 150 E. Market St., Indianapolis, IN 46204.
    3. Visit the State Student Assistance Commission of Indiana's (SSACI'S) website and click on the "Change Your College Choice" icon.
  • Loans - Initiating the process of transferring financial aid to your new institution is your responsibility. However, some things will happen automatically after updating the information contained within your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). It is highly recommended that you check with your new institution's Office of Financial Aid prior to the beginning of the semester to ensure all information is correct.

Indiana Colleges and Universities

Click here for a full list of Indiana Colleges and Universities.

After You Have Officially Transferred

Transfer Shock

When students move from one institution to another, they sometimes find the transition overwhelming at first. College students who transfer to a university may discover the classes are several times larger, instructors may be less accessible, and the campus life can be more difficult to navigate. This experience is called "Transfer Shock".

This is a common experience for many students who transfer from one institution to another. However, the experience typically last less than one semester. Please refer to the Minimize the effects of Transfer Shock section below for additional information.

Transfer Shock

  • Be prepared for change.
  • Read carefully through the college catalog, and all information your new institution provides you.
  • Participate in new student orientation.
  • Visit your new campus at least once before classes start.
  • Seek information about parking, obtaining your student ID, transportation on campus (i.e. shuttle buses), bookstore hours, location of your classes and library information in advance.
  • Connect with others. Seek information about student life and activities. Find a club or organization to join.
  • Make a point to meet two new people in each of your classes. Once you have done so, you will have at least two contacts to help answer questions about assignments, etc.
  • Ask your professor about their expectations. Read your course syllabus very carefully for each class and refer to it often.
  • Visit each one of your professors during their office hours within the first two weeks of the semester.
Transfer Checklist
  • Plan ahead. Keep a binder or folder of all your syllabi that you may want to consider for future transfer.
  • Research your options. Check to see which institutions accept your course work or program. The TransferIN website is a valuable tool in helping determine this.
  • Spend some time on the websites of colleges you are considering. This will be time well spent and will help you learn about the institution.
  • Talk with your Academic Advisor and campus' Transfer Advocate.
  • Contact your prospective school's Office of Admissions and ask about opportunities to learn more about potential scholarships. Double check the application deadline for transfer students (this is sometimes different for freshman students) and submit your application on time.
  • Make arrangements to transfer your financial aid.
  • Once you have transferred, maintain ties with your friends and family back home. They will serve as a support system during the adjustment to your new environment. Don't forget your Ivy Tech family, too.
  • Keep in touch with us. We want to know how you are doing and want to hear about your success.
  • Celebrate your success.