Transferring to a new college can be tough. You’re leaving old friends behind. You’re moving to a new city or state. You’ll need to find a new dorm room or apartment. You’ll also likely lose a few course credits from your first school.
Transfer students face a unique set of challenges that first-time college students don’t. However, the scariest part of all may be the financial aspect of the transfer and move.
Ready to transfer to a new college or a different university? Then you’ll need to know these 5 secrets for how to financially prepare for your college transition.
Research Housing Options
Housing prices vary from city to city. You’ll need to do some research to find the best new place to live once you finalize your new school.
Start researching housing prices 3 to 4 months before you make your official move. Before you transfer and start new classes, identify the various parts of town where you can live.
Some parts of town that are closer to campus might come at a premium. Other parts of town might be more affordable, yet require a slightly longer commute. It might be great to live on campus. However, off-campus apartment may be the only option that meets your budget.
Nobody likes to be the student who’s always late for class, so moving to an area that’s too far from school can be a mistake. However, you don’t want to move to a place that’s priced outside your budget. It’s important to find the happy medium of cost and convenience.
Search for Scholarships
College is expensive. Seize any opportunity that you can to save money. Websites such as ScholarshipPoints help you to identify the best scholarships available.
Find scholarships that you’re eligible for. Research scholarship funds and grants with unique requirements that you match. Many scholarships include the option to use grant money for food and housing. Whether you’re looking to save money on tuition or living expenses, a scholarship can be a huge help.
Search for Off-Campus Jobs
Between paying for school, leasing an apartment, and having some fun money, it’s no wonder that college students are often broke.
Before you transfer to a new college, research off-campus jobs to pay the bills. Bartender and waiter/waitress jobs offer great flexibility for college students.
Jobs in the restaurant industry can be a great source of income during college. You can make great tips if you’re good at what you do. Nights and weekends are the busiest times, so you’ll be able to focus on school during the day.
The schedules and demands are more flexible than office jobs or retail jobs. Find a bar or restaurant job near campus or your apartment and you’re sure to make some cash.
If working in the service industry isn’t your thing, look for retail jobs in nearby shopping areas. While retail jobs don’t pay the most, they’re great if you’re looking for evening and weekend work. This type of schedule is ideal for a college student who needs to be able to focus on school during the day.
Search for On-Campus Employment
On-campus jobs typically pay less than off-campus opportunities. However, the lower wage comes with significantly more convenience.
On-campus jobs tend to offer more flexible schedules for those who are willing to take on smaller wages. They can provide opportunities for academic advancement. They also often take your study and class schedule into account, allowing you to get coursework done while on the job.
On-campus jobs can be an ideal option for part-time work if you don’t have a car. One on-campus job isn’t likely to pay all of your bills. However, it can provide you with the extras you need to live comfortably.
As a full-time college student, your main focus should be on excelling in school. Look for jobs as a desk attendant or librarian where you can spend time reading and writing while doing the job. It might make sense to accept a few less dollars per hour if your on-campus job can provide other conveniences.
Find Ways to Treat Yourself
College is hard. Classes are long. Dorms can feel crowded. The work load and study schedule can be daunting.
As a transfer student, socializing is more important than ever. Carve out some time to get to know your new campus and new surroundings. Spend some time getting familiar with local bars, shops, restaurants, and parks. Find on-campus clubs and activities that you can join or explore.
Find the time to make new friends and enjoy new things so you can make the most of your college experience. The bigger your school is, the more likely you are to assimilate, make great friends, and find your niche.
Don’t assume that everyone on campus has already found a group of best friends. Be friendly and open and you’re sure to be able to cultivate strong friendships with others. Seeking out new friends and activities will make it easier to enjoy your new surroundings.
Transfer students face unique challenges that first-year students do not. Research your ideal housing options. Search for scholarships to subsidize your tuition or living expenses. Seek out off-campus jobs that offer great pay and great flexibility. Look for on-campus jobs that provide convenience and the opportunity for coursework study. Take the time to join new groups and make new friends. If you get your finances in order and establish a social circle, your transfer experience is sure to be a good one!
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