Scholarships for Transfer Students
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Many students transfer colleges in the U.S. each year. According to a report from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, around 2 in 5 first-time undergraduates in the fall 2011 cohort transferred colleges within the first six years.
But college — and transferring colleges — can get pretty expensive. So can transfer students get scholarships? The answer is yes!
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Many scholarships specifically target transfer students, especially those looking to transfer from a two-year college to a four-year university.
Keep reading to learn how to apply for transfer scholarships, what kinds of scholarships are available, and how institutional transfer scholarships work.
What Do You Need to Apply for a Transfer Scholarship?
Most transfer scholarship applications are similar to regular college scholarship applications.
Common application materials include a personal essay and official college transcripts. Some scholarship programs may require you to demonstrate financial need, while others may ask you to highlight your achievements in things like art, sports, leadership, and public service.
Many scholarships for transfer students require a letter of recommendation from an advisor or mentor as well.
Popular Scholarships for Transfer Students
The list below introduces some popular scholarships for college transfer students. All aim to offer financial assistance to students transferring from two-year colleges to four-year institutions.
You can find more scholarships by searching online, reaching out to local organizations, and checking schools' official websites.
AICPA Foundation Two-Year Transfer Scholarship
Who's Eligible? Offered by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), this scholarship is geared toward transfer students who have an associate degree in business, accounting, finance, or economics and who plan to major in accounting at a four-year university. Applicants must have at least a 3.0 GPA and be an AICPA Student Affiliate member.
Award Amount: $5,000
Deadline: March 15, 2022
Darrel Hess Community College Geography Scholarship
Who's Eligible? This scholarship program, offered by the American Association of Geographers, targets students who are enrolled in a two-year college and have completed at least two courses in geography. You must plan to transfer to a four-year university as a geography major. Two scholarships will be awarded.
Award Amount: $1,500
Deadline: Dec. 31, 2022
Guistwhite Scholarship Program
Who's Eligible? To be eligible, students must be active members of Phi Theta Kappa (the official honor society for community college students), have at least a 3.5 cumulative GPA, and plan to transfer to an accredited four-year college or university.
Award Amount: $5,000
Deadline: Dec. 2022
Hites Transfer Scholarship
Who's Eligible? To apply for this scholarship, you must be a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and plan to transfer from a two-year college to a four-year college in pursuit of a bachelor's degree. You'll also need a minimum 3.5 GPA.
Award Amount: $7,500
Deadline: Dec. 2022
Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship
Who's Eligible? Applicants must be current students at an accredited U.S. community college with plans to enroll full time in a bachelor's program at a four-year college or university. You must also have a cumulative 3.5 GPA or higher and demonstrate significant financial need.
Award Amount: Up to $55,000 per year
Deadline: Jan. 10, 2022
META Oro Scholarship
Who's Eligible? The META Foundation's goal is to provide financial support to underserved Latino/a students in Southern California. Latino/a students who are currently enrolled in a two-year college and plan to transfer to a four-year university are eligible to apply. Applicants must also demonstrate financial need and have a 3.0 minimum GPA.
Award Amount: Up to $2,000
Deadline: March 2022
New England Transfer Association Scholarships
Who's Eligible? Applicants must have at least a 3.0 GPA and be on track to earn an associate degree from a two-year New England college or university. You must also plan to transfer to a four-year New England college or university for a bachelor's degree. Up to six scholarships are awarded each year.
Award Amount: $1,000
Deadline: April 4, 2022
NYSTAA Transfer Student Scholarships
Who's Eligible? Students who earned an associate degree at any two-year college that's part of the New York State Transfer and Articulation Association (NYSTAA) and who plan to transfer to a four-year NYSTAA member school are eligible for one of six scholarships. You must also have a minimum cumulative 3.5 GPA.
Award Amount: $1,000
Deadline: March 23, 2022
Tau Sigma National Honor Society Scholarships
Who's Eligible? Applicants must be members of Tau Sigma, an honor society specifically for college students who transfer to a four-year college or university. Students can join Tau Sigma if they display exemplary academic performance in their first semester at their new school. You can apply for the scholarship in the fall after joining Tau Sigma. Each Tau Sigma chapter selects a member to nominate for the award.
Award Amount: $500-$5,000
TheDream.Us's National Scholarships for Community College Graduates
Who's Eligible? These scholarships support undocumented students with significant financial need. To be eligible, you must have earned or be about to earn an associate degree from a community college and plan to transfer to a four-year institution. You must also have at least a 3.0 GPA.
Award Amount: Up to $33,000
Deadline: March 7, 2022
What Colleges Offer Scholarships for Transfer Students?
Many four-year U.S. colleges and universities offer special scholarships for students transferring into the school.
For example, Appalachian State University offers several scholarships for transfer students with various award amounts. Last year, the University of South Florida provided transfer scholarships to more than 5,000 students, with an average award amount of $2,646.
Before you apply somewhere as a transfer student, check with the schools you're considering to see whether they offer any transfer student scholarships and how to qualify for them.
Note that many schools automatically consider you for a transfer scholarship when you apply for admission.
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