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Articles / Applying to College / Merit Aid for Transfer Students?

Merit Aid for Transfer Students?

Sally Rubenstone
Written by Sally Rubenstone | Sept. 17, 2010

Question: Can transfers get merit-based scholarships?

Some colleges offer merit scholarships to transfer students and some do not. The only way you can find out if your target colleges have merit aid for prospective transfers is to look on their Web sites. It is often something of a treasure hunt to locate the merit aid pages, but--once you do--check carefully to see if there are options for transfers.


If you currently attend a two-year school, you may find that some colleges have scholarships that are specifically for graduates of community colleges or other two-year institutions. Inductees of Phi Theta Kappa (the two-year-college honor society) are eligible for scholarships at more that 700 four-year schools. See http://www.ptk.org/schol/newscholdir/list.php

You can also check out MeritAid.com to search for colleges that provide transfer merit aid.

So, like so many other times in the college admission process, there is little consistency when it comes to merit money policies for transfers, and you'll need to do some research on your own to see if the colleges that interest you will offer it.

Happy hunting!

Written by

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone knows the competitive and often convoluted college admission process inside out: From the first time the topic of college comes up at the dinner table until the last duffel bag is unloaded on a dorm room floor. She is the co-author of Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions; The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges and The International Student's Guide to Going to College in America. Sally has appeared on NBC's Today program and has been quoted in countless publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, People and Seventeen. Sally has viewed the admissions world from many angles: As a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years, an independent college counselor serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and the author of College Confidential's "Ask the Dean" column. She also taught language arts, social studies, study skills and test preparation in 10 schools, including American international schools in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens and Tel Aviv. As senior advisor to College Confidential since 2002, Sally has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the college admissions maze. In 2008, she co-founded College Karma, a private college consulting firm, with her College Confidential colleague Dave Berry, and she continues to serve as a College Confidential advisor. Sally and her husband, Chris Petrides, became first-time parents in 1997 at the ripe-old age of 45. So Sally was nearly an official senior citizen when her son Jack began the college selection process, and when she was finally able to practice what she had preached for more than three decades.

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