The Difference Between A Transfer And Freshman Student


Technically, the significant difference between a freshman and a transfer is college credit. For a freshman, they have completed zero college credit after high school graduation. On the other hand, a freshman has at least an hour of complete credit in college since high school graduation.

The process of transferring colleges is a major hassle, and a lot of students would rather struggle at their schools than switching campuses. Other than the tasking process of transferring credits, a different campus setting and culture may seem overwhelming to a majority of students contemplating a campus transfer. For transfers, this process is similar to undergraduate application.

Applying As a Freshman

The Application Process

almost every school will accept an online application, though they will charge the applicant for every type of application. Regardless of the fees, it is always cheaper to apply to the school’s online platform, especially if it is far off.

The essay

Schools will expect the applicant to submit at least one essay in their application. The length and the subject matter of the essay will vary. This is an essential consideration that admission counselors pay attention to, and it is a significant tool for selecting and differentiating applicants from thousands of applications.


Your high school transcripts are forwarded to the schools you are applying to by your guidance counselor.

Test Scores

Many universities and colleges will ask for SAT/ACT scores. Depending on the school one is applying to, the school may require extra SAT Subject Test scores as well.

Housing Information

A first-year student will be required to apply for campus housing, and the request should be inclusive of preferences such as location, roommate, or the need for special housing such as single-sex buildings or honors floor.

Other necessary information that should be on the application includes updated immunizations and should be submitted before enrollment. An applicant may be requested to submit a resume or avail themselves of an interview.

The Transfer Process

It is advisable to find a transfer friendly college to prevent unnecessary struggles. Furthermore, such schools are more likely to readily help rather than leave the bulk process to the student.

The Application Process- it is similar to an undergraduate application. Depending on the school an applicant wants to transfer to, they may use Common Application. This can easily be done online or via the Common App.

The essay

Compared to freshman application, transfer essays lack the luxury of variety. The essay is supposed to answer the question, “Why Do You Want to Transfer?”


If an applicant is to be admitted to a new college, it is essential they have information about the academics at the previous school. Thus, an applicant should look at what class credits are acceptable before handing in an application. High school transcripts may be requested should the applicant fail to meet certain credit levels or time at the current school.

Test Scores

If the number of credits taken is below the minimum count, the new school will request for SAT/ACT scores. This applies to applicants who have been at their current school for less than an academic year.

Housing Information

For students who prefer living on-campus, they will be required to apply for housing. It is essential for an applicant to learn about housing for transfers and whether they have different eligibility criteria.

Other information- before enrollment, an applicant should ensure that all vaccines are updated. Depending on the school, interviews or resumes may be necessary.

A transfer friendly college should offer course credit that is recognized by the General Education Category. Credits on this catalog are transferable between colleges. The processes may be a little tasking, but they are worth it, especially for students looking to explore new majors.