15 Best Schools to Transfer To In 2023-24 (Transfer Acceptance Rates)

Transferring colleges can feel overwhelming. But don’t worry, you aren’t alone. Most students don’t know how to transfer colleges — never mind what the best colleges to transfer to are. That’s where we come in.

In addition to providing you with a comprehensive list of transfer-friendly colleges, we will also review key statistics, such as transfer acceptance rates, to help you come up with your own college list. So if you’re looking for the best colleges to transfer to, or thinking about transferring colleges mid-year, you’ve come to the right place!

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How to choose the best transfer colleges

When deciding where to transfer, it’s important to keep in mind that some colleges prioritize transfer students more than others. This is often reflected in a school’s transfer acceptance rate, programs designed to support transfer students, and how easy it is to transfer college credits. It’s also important to realize that transferring schools mid-year is not possible at every institution.

Now let’s take a quick look at how some of these policies may affect how “transfer friendly” a college really is: 

  1. Transferring university credits is much easier at some colleges than others. 
  2. Some colleges don’t accept mid-year transfers, while other colleges do. 
  3. Some colleges offer limited financial aid to transfer students, while other colleges offer scholarships specifically for transfer students. 
  4. Not all colleges offer all majors.

Deciding to transfer colleges

During your college research, it’s important to pay close attention to application deadlines and policies. After all, you don’t want to miss out on any opportunities! It’s also important to keep in mind that transferring colleges mid-year is not always possible. This is why it’s important to plan ahead and stay organized. Even if you’re not sure you want to transfer colleges, it’s better to plan ahead and keep your options open.

Another thing to consider when transferring colleges is the cost. Not only are you paying for different tuition, but you are also potentially looking at a new cost of living. Will you be moving cities or states? Don’t forget about enrollment fees, transfer applications, and other administrative fees that appear for transfer students. And talk to the admissions office about the potential of financial aid!

Finally, you’ll want to make sure that each school offers your intended college major. Not all schools offer all majors. Depending on your academic interests and how niche your major may be, this may play a significant role in your decision-making process.

15 best schools to transfer to in the US (2023-24)

Whether you are looking for the best colleges to transfer to as a sophomore or the best colleges to transfer to as a junior, you’re sure to find some helpful tips below! Review each of these 15 transfer-friendly colleges to see if any of them pique your interest. Additionally, you may be interested in researching some of the ​​top public universities in the West, in addition to liberal arts colleges in the East.

Transfer students at American are paired with current students, and these pairs connect to support various nonprofits in Washington, DC. Following orientation ‘Welcome Week’, the campus offers weekly sessions designed to support transfers, as well as an honors society for academically successful transfers.

Each year Boston University accepts more than 700 transfer students, offering admission during both the Fall and Spring semester. It’s also possible to transfer to BU after only one semester (12 college credits). Boston University believes that “transfer students provide a unique perspective on the college experience and the kind of drive that is the hallmark of a BU student.”

Clemson offers a transfer-focused housing community, where transfer students live together and receive academic support. Additionally, a transfer council represents the transfer student voice in student government, and the school hosts a special web portal to keep students informed during the transfer process.

Emory’s transfer acceptance rate (34%) is more than double its freshman acceptance rate (13%). This means that if you had your heart set on attending this prestigious Atlanta institution previously but didn’t gain admission, your chances of being accepted as a transfer student are more than doubled! It’s worth noting that you need a minimum of a 3.0 GPA, but that most applicants’ GPA is closer to 3.5.

Georgia Tech is one of the top public universities in the United States and is well-known for its engineering program. Each year, Georgia Tech accepts over 1,000 transfer students, offering Fall, Spring, and Summer admission. It’s also worth noting that Georgia Tech’s transfer acceptance rate (41%) is more than double its freshman acceptance rate (18%). This means that if you’ve done well in your college classes so far and are looking for a rigorous academic program, Georgia Tech may be the right school for you!

Transfer students at NYU can anticipate unique challenges as they transition to both the school and New York City. The campus hosts a Student Resource Center, through which transfer students can join their own Facebook group, request a mentor, participate in a student-run transfer student association, and join a dedicated listserv to receive a weekly newsletter.

PSU hosts a virtual home for transfer students leading them through every part of the admissions and registration processes. Students can use the online center to gain information about each step of the transfer process; they can also apply and live chat with representatives. An online degree audit program called uSelect allows students to get information about PSU degree programs and transfer credits before enrolling.

Saint Louis University stands out as one of the best transfer schools as it offers a transfer-focused orientation, TRANSFERmation, featuring social events and mentorship from former transfer students. Their program is designed to help new students make a seamless transition to life at SLU. There is also a class that helps transfer students during their first semester on campus.

New members of the Utes family can trade in t-shirts and other materials from their old schools and receive the University of Utah t-shirts on Transfer Tuesdays! As the year progresses, transfer students who attend the weekly meetings learn about campus resources, scholarships, and other important issues.

Tulane University has an impressive transfer ambassador infrastructure and offers generous financial aid. With a transfer acceptance rate (18%) nearly doubled from its freshman acceptance rate (10%), it may be time to shoot your shot and apply to this prestigious institution! 

The university’s Educational Opportunity Program is open to qualified transfer students, helping them find support and comfort. The campus also supports peer mentoring and a transfer-only honor society.

UCLA offers a joint volunteer project during its orientation for transfer and first-year students which makes it one of the best transfer colleges in California. Students build a rapport while working together to support the child life program at UCLA’s affiliated hospital. Following orientation, students maintain their connection to each other and the university through participation in the Bruin Transfer Camp.

The University of Miami is committed to meeting 100% of demonstrated financial need and transfer students are automatically considered for merit-based scholarships. With a transfer acceptance rate of 44% and Fall and Spring admissions, the University of Miami is a great school to consider transferring to!

This school emphasizes a one-on-one approach in its support of transfer students. Newly accepted transfer students are encouraged to enroll in Transfer Connections – paired with specially trained current students, transfers learn directly about all U of M has to offer. The transfer student office also publishes a monthly newsletter.

The flagship campus of the North Carolina system, UNC offers extensive support to students making the transition from community colleges. The Carolina Student Transfer Excellence Program (C-STEP) identifies academically talented students from 2-year colleges and supports them on both campuses. The school also helps qualified C-STEP students graduate with low or zero student loan debt. Transfer students can go online to determine which of their current credits will transfer before they decide to apply.

College transfer acceptance rates, 2023

College Location Transfer Acceptance Rate Freshman Acceptance Rate Number of Accepted Transfer Students 2023 Application Deadline(s)
American University  Washington, DC 70% 64% 212 students May 1st (Fall)

October 1st (Spring)

Boston University  Boston, Massachusetts  37% 19% ~700 students March 15th (Fall)

November 1st (Spring)

Clemson University  Clemson, South Carolina 58% 49% 1,529 students July 1st (Fall)

December 1st (Spring)

Emory University  Atlanta, Georgia 34% 13% 551 students March 15th (Fall)
Georgia Tech  Atlanta, Georgia 41% 18% 1,059 students March 1st (Fall)

September 15th (Spring)

NYU  New York, New York 26% 12% 2,337 students April 1st (Fall)

November 1st (Spring)

Portland State University  Portland, Oregon 91% 98% 2,988 students January 1st (Fall)
Saint Louis University  St. Louis, Missouri 48% 70% ~350 students Rolling admission
The University of Utah  Salt Lake City, Utah 93% 84% 1,615 students  April 1st (Fall)

November 1st (Spring)

Tulane University  New Orleans, Louisiana  18% 9.6% ~125 students April 15th (Fall)

October 15th (Spring)

University at Buffalo  Buffalo, New York 69% 70% 1,742 students  May 1st (Fall)

December 1st (Spring)

UCLA  Los Angeles, California 24% 11% 5,961 students November 30th (Fall)
University of Michigan  Ann Arbor, Michigan 42% 20% 1,278 students February 1st (Fall)

October 1st (Spring)

University of Miami  Coral Gables, Florida 44% 29% 1,149 students  April 1st (Fall)

November 1st (Spring)

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill  Chapel Hill, North Carolina 47% 19% 846 students February 15th (Fall)

Key takeaways and moving forward

Now that you’ve spent some time in college, you likely have a better idea of what you’re looking for in a college. This will come in handy during your college research. Schedule a meeting with your academic advisor to discuss your reasons for transferring and what you’re hoping to find at another institution. Take time to reflect on what you like and dislike about your college experience so far. And remember, the transfer process is a lot like your initial college application process: You’ll need letters of recommendation, transcripts, college essays, and a list of extracurriculars. 

If you need help navigating the transfer process, Prepory can help guide you in the right direction. Prepory believes in finding your perfect college fit. If your first choice wasn’t the best choice for you, we will help you identify and apply to colleges that better suit your needs. Our college counseling has helped hundreds of students receive admission to the schools of their dreams: reach out to learn more about our services and how we can help you reach all of your college-related goals.

FAQs related to transfer-friendly colleges

Lots of students change majors throughout their college careers. If your new academic goals are not possible at your current institution, transferring colleges may be a wise decision. Similarly, transferring colleges can be a great idea if the new school offers opportunities your current school lacks.
The idea of transferring colleges may feel daunting, but transferring colleges is worth it for many students. There are lots of valid reasons to transfer colleges, including financial considerations, academic opportunities, and “college fit.” It’s also worth noting that lots of students attending community college transfer to four-year colleges after earning some of their core requirements. 
Truly, you have to do your research. But start with the list provided above. They are all great colleges to transfer to and have high acceptance rates.
The transfer rate is typically higher for freshmen as opposed to transferring students. According to a report from the National Association for College Admission Counseling, the average rate of admission for a transfer applicant is 62 percent. Comparatively, first-time freshman applicants are admitted at a rate of 66 percent. That said, each college is different, and there are colleges where it is comparatively easier to transfer into than be accepted as a freshman. 
It is still considered a hard application process when you transfer colleges, whether the college accepts more transfer students or not. Our best advice is to put just as much time and care into your applications as you did when you applied to college the first time. 
Typically, sophomore year is the best time to transfer colleges, but it’s possible to transfer your junior or even your senior year. It’s also worth noting that some schools do not accept mid-year transfers. This is why it’s important to start your research early so you don’t miss any application deadlines. 
Note that, among Ivy League schools, Cornell accepts the largest share of transfer students at 15% and Harvard and Dartmouth the lowest at 1%.
Usually, a GPA of 3.0 – 3.5 is considered good enough at many high schools, colleges, and universities.

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