Top Ten Transfer Tips

Smooth your path to a bachelor’s degree with the tried-and-true tips below.

  1. Let an expert help -- for free!
  2. Know you deadlines 
  3. Protect your GPA 
  4. Pick a major early 
  5. Consider all your options 
  6. Expand your local choices 
  7. Apply to multiple schools
  8. Figure out finances 
  9. Balance school with work and personal commitments
  10. 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!


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.


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.


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!


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 below.


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:
  • 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 higher salary?
    • 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 the debt?
  • 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: