Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Tips for Successfully Transferring to a University: Financial Questions


Are you thinking about transferring to a university after you graduate from Vol State but you’re concerned about how to pay for it? Universities cost more than community colleges, and Tennessee Promise and Tennessee Reconnect do not apply toward a bachelor’s degree at a university. But the good news is there are multiple ways to get money for school. Here are some things to look for:
·         How much does it cost to attend the university? Get the actual amounts without financial aid or scholarships. If you paid completely out of pocket, how much would it be each semester? Can you do a payment plan? Most universities should have a “net price calculator” on their website to give you an estimate of the cost including aid. Remember that public universities in Tennessee usually cost less than colleges out of state. Also, private universities in Tennessee will typically cost significantly more than public ones because they are not funded by the state. No matter where you transfer, you will need to find out about financial aid and scholarships.
·         How much does financial aid usually cover for most students? Most financial aid is awarded based on income. Submit your FAFSA to all universities to which you apply. Financial aid can include grants (free money from the government such as PELL), student loans (money you pay back after you have been out of school for a certain period of time), and scholarships (free money based on GPA, minority status, church affiliation, honor society membership, etc.) Sources of aid can include the federal and state government, the universities themselves, and also private sources. Colleges may have separate scholarship applications and deadlines apart from admissions, so check their websites. Once you have applied for university scholarships, look for private scholarships through search engines such as www.fastweb.com, www.myscholly.com, and www.scholarships.com.
·         Are there scholarship opportunities for transfer students? Some universities reserve most of their scholarship money for entering freshmen. Other universities offer guaranteed scholarships for transfer students with associate’s degrees and certain GPA minimums. Scholarships vary widely based on the school, your financial need, academic merit, and other factors. Submit your FAFSA to all schools you are considering and apply for as many private scholarships as possible.
Don’t assume that a bachelor’s degree is out of reach due to cost. There are many affordable, reputable universities out there. When you add in financial aid and scholarships, a bachelor’s degree can be very feasible. And, remember that the better your grades are at Vol State, the more opportunities you may have at universities.

Lindsay Guenther  and Josie Larson are full-time advisors at the Gallatin campus.
©2018 Lindsay Guenther, Josie Larson, Rebecca Adair

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