Transferring high schools can seem overwhelming, but lots of students transfer every year. Regardless of why you are transferring schools, there are a lot of things you will need to make sure happen during the transition. From checking on your credits to filling out the transfer request, we’ll ensure you don’t miss anything.
Understanding what to expect when you transfer schools is the best way to make the transition as seamless and easy as possible, and we’re here to help with that! In this article, we’ll be discussing what it means to transfer schools during high school. We’ll be answering some commonly asked questions such as, “can you transfer during your senior year of high school?”.
What Does Transferring Mean in School?
Transferring means moving from one school to a different school. It can happen during a school year or over a school break. Many kids transfer schools as their families move around throughout their childhood, so don’t feel alone if you are considering transferring schools soon.
Figuring out the requirements to transfer high schools can be more challenging than it would be for an elementary or middle school student but are very doable. Moves and changes during your high school years might feel like the end of the world, but a transfer can be a good thing, depending on your specific situation.
What are Some Reasons Students Transfer Schools?
Students transfer schools for lots of different reasons, but here are some of the main reasons that students might have to transfer schools:
If your family moves, you move. Family moves are one of the most common reasons why students might have to transfer schools at any time during their academic career. School transfers might be common for families who frequently move, like military families. For other students who have never moved before, a family move and school transfer might be a more challenging transition.
Transfer away from a negative thing
Sometimes there are situations that students need to be removed from. This could be something like a significant unaddressed bullying problem or a severe disagreement with the school philosophy. Whatever the reason, leaving one school to get away from a negative stimulus is another common reason why students might transfer schools.
Transfer towards a positive thing
Leaving one school to go to a school that has a better program for something that you are interested in, be it a sports team or an academic program, is the last of the three big reasons why students might transfer schools. Switching schools, not to get away from something, but to get better access to something, is more common amongst older students than younger students and is a major driver of transfers in high school.
Is It Hard to Transfer Schools?
Figuring out the requirements to transfer high schools can seem complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. You will need to find a few critical pieces of information to make the transfer easy and smooth, but both schools should already have a process to help you. Transferring is something that students frequently do, so there are plenty of systems in place.
Transferring in high school is a little more challenging than transferring when you are younger because you will need to pay attention to the graduation requirements. Take some time to look at the credits you will be transferred with and compare them to the credits you need to graduate from your new school.
If you are transferring high schools from one state to another, you’ll need to look closely at the state graduation requirements. Each state has its rules surrounding education, so make sure you find the rules specific to the state you will transfer to.
You might be asking yourself, “how long does it take to transfer high schools?” If so, we’ve got you covered! Remember that these schools don’t want you to have a break in your education, so, generally, transferring won’t take long. The best way to make a transfer take minimal time is by already having all your forms filled out. If you have all your documents ready, it shouldn’t take more than an hour or so to turn them in and register at your new school.
How Do You Transfer to Another School?
The nuts and bolts of how to actually transfer schools are pretty simple. Here is a breakdown of what you’ll want to do:
Talk to your old school
You’ll first want to talk to your old school and tell them that you are transferring. Typically, your old school will ask for things like your last day with them and other essential information, but they won’t be doing most of the transfer. The work of the transfer will fall on your new school.
Enroll in your new school
Once you have moved or are ready to start at your new school, you will need to enroll. In order to enroll in a school, you will likely need proof of immunization, proof of residency, and information about your old school. Your new school will then be able to add you to their system and formally request your transcripts from your old school.
Meet with your new school counselor
After enrolling in your new school, it is always a good idea to meet with their school counselor to discuss your courses. This conversation should be about what credits you already have, how they transferred to the new school, and how to fit in the rest of the credits you need in order to graduate on time.
While transferring during your junior or senior year of high school is not typically recommended, you can transfer your senior year. Completing a transfer junior year of high school or before is easier, but you can transfer senior year. You will need to make sure that you can meet the graduation requirements, or you might not be able to graduate on time.
Another thing to consider when transferring schools is the type of schools you are transferring between, as this will impact the transfer itself. If you are moving and transferring between two different public schools, you will need to make sure you have all the supporting documentation that proves your move happened.
If you are transferring to a school that requires an entrance exam, like a private school or charter school, make sure you have taken all the necessary testing. With these schools, you will likely need to apply rather than just submit the transfer paperwork, depending on the schools you are transferring between.
3 Factors to Consider Before Transferring Schools
There are lots of things that you’ll want to consider before transferring schools, but this is our checklist of the details that you’ll want to double-check:
How do you apply for a transfer?
Talking to both schools and finding out how you apply to transfer is the first step to transferring. Make sure you have all the necessary forms, and paperwork filled out when you enroll at your new school. The best way to prepare for this and know what to expect is by asking. Ask both schools’ guidance counselors what you need to do to get your information transferred smoothly.
Will you be able to meet the new graduation requirements?
Although talking to the guidance counselor at your new school can be helpful, this is a question that you will have to answer on your own, for the most part. Take some time to sit down and look through the credits you need in order to graduate and compare them to the amount of time you have left in high school. You may need to take a heavy course load or even a summer class to graduate on time, depending on the schools you are transferring between.
Will all of your credits transfer?
Once you know what school you are going to transfer to, you should contact that school’s guidance counselor and ask them if your credits will all transfer. Sometimes credits transfer as something different than they were initially listed, so make sure you are aware of any changes. For example, one school might count a course as a wellness course, while another school might count it as a PE course.
Wrapping Things Up: How to Transfer High Schools?
Remember that lots of students transfer schools every year and still succeed, so you can too! Even though it might feel like a lot of work, transferring school isn’t that complicated. Just make sure you go through your credits, make sure they will transfer and have all the forms you need. The schools will do the rest of the work for you!