Tips for Transfer Students on Avoiding Common Financial Aid Mistakes

For transfer students, financial aid plays a major role in where they decide to go. After all, your financial aid status may change when you transfer from one college to another.

But the transfer process can be complicated, and anyone can make mistakes or miss important steps. Below are a few helpful financial aid tips as you explore transfer possibilities.

Resubmit Your FAFSA

At this point, you probably know the importance of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). If not, you should check out this useful list of steps to take!

If you’re transferring mid-year, you won’t have to fill out a completely new FAFSA. You only need to resubmit it and enter the code for your new school. On the other hand, if you’re transferring at the start of a new school year, you will have to submit a new FAFSA. Just be sure to include your new school code on the form.

Apply for In-School Deferments for Existing Loans

As soon as you’re no longer enrolled with your current school, the clocks on your existing federal loans start ticking. If you have a loan, you have to apply for an in-school deferment. Without a deferment, you could have to start making payments in as few as six months!

Reach out to Your Current School’s Financial Aid Office

Many transfer students spend so much time thinking about their future school that they forget about their current one. Remember to reach out to your current school’s financial aid office. These folks can help you figure out whether you’ve fully settled your account.

If you have any unresolved financial issues, they can also help you figure out what to do next. Overlooking this step can cause your transcript to be withheld.

Talk to the Financial Aid Office at Your Future School

The financial aid professionals at your new school understand how the financial aid process works for transfer students. They’ll walk you through everything you need to know, including:

How much you’ll owe

Even if you covered all or most of your tuition at your old school with financial aid like Perkins loans, you may still owe at your new school for any number of reasons. Your new school may be more expensive than your old school, or those financial aid options may no longer be available.                                                                 

What types of school-specific loans and scholarships may be available

Many schools offer financial aid that comes directly from their own sources instead of the government. You could be eligible to apply for any of these school-specific funds! The financial aid office can help you determine your eligibility, notify you about scholarship deadlines, and more.

If you’re changing states, you should also look into state-specific financial aid. You would have had different state-specific options at your old school, and you may qualify for new options now.

What you need to do to remain eligible for student aid

Satisfactory academic progress (SAP) policies vary from school to school. If you don’t meet the standards of your new school, you may become ineligible for certain aid. The financial aid office is there to educate you on each school’s guidelines as you explore potential transfer options.

All in all, the more you communicate with your new and old school, the more likely you’ll have all your ducks in a row! If you’re interested in learning more about transferring to Academy of Art University, visit our transfer students page—or find out how to apply in three steps.