Tips on Selecting a Transfer School
If you are planning to continue your education after RVCC, it’s never too early to start looking at possible transfer schools. Identifying a four-year transfer school early in the process will ensure that you make the most of your time at RVCC and maximize the credits that will transfer to a bachelorette degree program.
Selecting a college to continue your education after RVCC can be a bewildering process. With over 60 colleges in New Jersey alone, and thousands throughout the country, the variety of choices is immense. Raritan Valley students have transferred successfully to hundreds of colleges, including all of the Ivy League institutions.
Choosing the college that is right for you is an important personal choice that you should consider carefully. College selection variables can include such factors as location, majors offered, admissions requirements, tuition and fees, financial aid, campus housing & security, accreditation, athletics, student life, faculty/student ratio, academic reputation and transfer credit policies.
To evaluate college choices you should carefully research each college using a variety of methods:
- Explore the college’s website.
- Visit the college (see CampusTours.com for a virtual tour).
- Attend an open house and sit in on a class or two.
- Talk with informed people including current or former students, college counselors and faculty members, parents, and friends
- Meet with college representatives at transfer fairs.
- Take advantages of all the online resources available including:
- Crime statistics http://ope.ed.gov/security
- Check graduation rates and percentage of students entering graduate programs, US News College Search: Search the directory of over 1,400 4-year colleges
- www.njtransfer.org the statewide transfer database
- Use websites designed to help you compare colleges with particular emphasis on quality indicators. Three of the best of these are the UCAN-Network which displays information about private colleges nationwide; The College Navigator which is a government website with information about public and private colleges nationwide, and the College Scorecard which was introduced by President Obama at his State of the Union address on February 12, 2013
- The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation released a new website in January 2016 providing helpful tools for students considering college transfer. This site also contains information about the Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship, one of the largest and most prestigious scholarships.
College Rating Systems
Use college rating systems carefully. College rating systems are controversial because even the "experts" have difficulty agreeing on how to rank colleges, and even if it should be done. A prudent approach in this regard is to use college ratings as simply one tool to evaluate colleges. Examine several rating sources to get a more balanced opinion. Here are a few of the many college rating sources available:
- Rugg’s Recommendations on the Colleges by Frederick E. Rugg
- The Gourman Report by the Princeton Review
- The Insider’s Guide to the Colleges by the Yale Daily News
- The Fiske Guide to Colleges by Edward B. Fiske
- The Best 311 Colleges by the Princeton Review
- America’s Best Colleges by the US News and World Report
- Other college ratings systems are available in annual editions of popular magazines (e.g. Money Magazine) as well as rating systems on the Internet. A very helpful book on college research is The Internet Guide for College Bound Students by Kenneth Hartman of the College Board. An excellent workbook for organizing the process is Your Transfer Planner: Strategic Tools and Guerilla Tactics by Carey Harbin published by Wadsworth Publishing.
- A noteworthy college rating system that reviews colleges worldwide is available from the Times of London Higher Ed site that can be accessed by clicking here
- Many new college search and ratings systems are popping up on the Internet each day. Some of these are valid, helpful sites bases on reliable input data... but beware, some are "trojan horses" that are baiting you into believing they are legitimate tools for college selection when in reality they are marketing ploys by hyper-aggressive colleges (some unaccredited, for-profit schools).
If you are using search engines it is suggested that you use several reliable ones especially since the search algorithms differ and because you may benefit by using a range of selection criteria. Here are a few that may be helpful: