What Kinds of Scholarships Are Available for Transfer Students?

If you’re a transfer student (or thinking about transferring) check out the kinds of scholarships that are available to you!

If you’re a transfer student or considering a transfer to a different school you’re not alone! Anywhere between 15-140% of new enrollments are transfer students. There are a variety of different reasons why you might want to transfer, from changing majors, to leaving a two year school for a four year school, or even just because it wasn’t the right environment. Transferring schools is a personal decision, and you have to do what’s best for you and your academic career. While in school, chances are you’ve applied for and received some financial aid, whether in the form of loans, grants, work study opportunities, or scholarships.

Regardless of what kind of financial package you’ve received, did you know that as a  transfer student there are additional opportunities for aid in the form of scholarships for transfer students? That’s right, and in this article we’re going learn about:

  • The ins and outs of scholarships
  • Why transfer students need scholarships
  • Top scholarships available to transfer students

What are the Ins and Outs of Scholarships?

It might be helpful to know a little bit more about scholarships

Scholarships are a great way to make a dent in some of your academic expenses. Image courtesy of Presbyterian College.

Scholarships are a wonderful addition to any student’s financial aid package, including transfer students. They are coveted by students (leading to some very tough competition) because scholarships consist of money that you do not have to pay back, unlike a loan. They are similar to grants, but not the same. Scholarships can come in all kinds of amounts, from smaller ones in the hundreds of dollars, to much larger ones in the thousands. Scholarships can also consist of a one time award, or they can consist of a few rewards over the course of your academic career.

Another thing that’s important to know about scholarships, is that they can come from a variety of sources--such as the school itself, the government, charities, professional organizations, your community etc. This means that there are all kinds of scholarships out there just waiting for you to apply to! However, as we mentioned before, competition for scholarships can be tough, so if you’re interested in landing one, make sure you stand out from the crowd by:

  • Being enthusiastic and showing you want to be a part of something bigger
  • Having a strong academic record (including your GPA, test scores, and excelling with a challenging work load)
  • Having had leadership positions in the past or currently
  • Volunteer work and community service

Having these qualities (but not limited to them) is what can make you stand out when it comes time to award scholarships.

Why Transfer Students Need Scholarships

Reasons why transfer students specifically need scholarships

Just because you’re changing schools doesn’t mean you still don’t need financial aid. Image courtesy of Brooklyn College-CUNY.

If you’re a transfer student looking for ways to help pay for your education at a new school, scholarships are a great avenue for you to pursue. One of the major reasons that students transfer college is to go from a two year school to a four year school. Following this path is already a great choice financially, since students typically transfer from a community college where credits are less expensive. Since you’ll be transferring to a school that is most likely going to cost more, you’ll need to expand your sources of financial aid. If you’ve excelled at your two year school, have an academic subject you’d like to follow, and been involved in the community, chances are you’d be a good candidate for a scholarship.

If you’re transferring because the cost of your original school was too much, your family’s financial circumstances changed, or the school was just not a good fit, scholarships are still available to you as well! College is expensive, so no matter your reason for transferring, you can still investigate and apply to scholarships to help you light the load at your new school.

One of the best ways to stay on top of the scholarships available to transfer students is to use a scholarship search tool, where you can filter the scholarships that interest you and that you could potentially qualify for. Once you have the scholarships you’re interested in it’s time to apply--but make sure you’re aware of the deadline. Scholarships can have different deadlines so make sure you prioritize those with sooner deadlines over those that are in the future.

When applying to scholarships no matter what kind, you may be asked to write essays or another kind of personal statement. This is so whatever organization or company can get a better feel of how you’d make a good recipient of their award. Make sure you’re honest, and don’t exaggerate grades, skills, or qualifications. Other scholarships may require you to include letters of recommendation with your application. It’s important to ask those individuals who can speak to your academic content or character, depending on what the source of the scholarship is.  

Scholarships Available to Transfer Students

A short list of some of the scholarships available to transfer students

Take advantage of all the scholarships available to transfer students! Image courtesy of Quicken Loans.

Just because you’re transferring schools doesn’t mean you don’t qualify for scholarships. In fact, you should make it a point to apply to scholarships each year of your academic career. There are a multitude of scholarships out there available for current students. But for now, let’s take a look at some of the available scholarships available for transfer students like you. Keep in mind this isn’t a comprehensive list, and many schools offer their own scholarships specifically to transfer students, so be sure to check them out too!

Hispanic Scholarship Fund

Amount of scholarship: between $500-$5,000

This Hispanic Scholarship Fund is typically awarded to students of hispanic descent who are in the STEM field, however any student of hispanic descent can apply. This scholarship is also available to those students that qualify as DACA students (aka DREAMers).

Scholarships for Military Children

Amount of scholarship: $2,000

The Scholarships for Military Children has been helping the kids of military veterans attend school for over 20 years. Applicants must have a parent that served in the U.S. armed forces and maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA.

Tau Sigma Honor Society Scholarship

Amount of scholarship: Up to $5,000

This specific scholarship was designed for transfer students. Each chapter of the society can nominate a student to represent the local chapter and receive up to $5,000 in scholarship money as they transfer to a new school.

Scholarship Points $10,000 Scholarship Program

Amount of scholarship: $10,000

The Scholarship Points $10,000 Scholarship program is prepared to offer a significant amount of money each quarter of the year to its members. Once you’re a member your information will be entered into the scholarship drawing. In addition to the large scholarship, Scholarship Points also awards three $1,000 scholarships each month throughout the year.

Student Loan Hero Smart Money Giveaway

Amount of scholarship: $1,000

Transfer students can apply to the Student Loan Hero Smart Money Giveaway which offers $1,000 for education expenses. Transfer students and other groups such as high school students and other college students are also able to apply.

Fund Your Future Scholarship No Essay Scholarship

Amount of scholarship: $1,000

The Fund Your Future Scholarship No Essay program is a scholarship that is available for those students in the STEM, nursing, and business fields. This scholarship does not require the applicant to write an essay, but they should be prepared to answer in 100 words or less a question specific to the scholarship.

Nitro College Scholarship

Amount of scholarship: $2,000

The Nitro College Scholarship is the chance to earn $2,000 to use towards your educational expenses. If you are a student who is transferring to another accredited school, you qualify to enter the sweepstakes.

Impact Scholarship for Black Students

Amount of scholarship: $2,550

The Impact Scholarship for Black Students is a scholarship that is available for Black students in any field of study. Transfer students are allowed to apply along with high school students and college students.

No matter what scholarships you qualify for, it’s important to keep a couple of things in mind:

Pro Tips:

  • Don’t just apply to the big scholarships, make sure you apply to the smaller ones as well since these can add up
  • The more scholarships you apply to, the better your chances of winning one!
  • Make sure your GPA stays in a good place
  • Scholarships available at schools in the U.S. require that you have U.S. citizenship

When you transfer, be sure to keep your options open to additional financial aid, including scholarships. It’s a good idea to create a list of those you qualify for and meet those deadlines, because every bit of financial assistance can help!

Image courtesy of PBS.

Bridget Houlihan
Bridget is a writer based in Pittsburgh, PA.
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