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What Is A Transfer Student? An Admissions Counselor Explains

  • Kelsey Kvandal
Posted on September 23, 2019
Questions and Answers

Defining a transfer student is sometimes easier when discussing what a transfer student isn't. Transfer students are not students coming from high school, who have AP or college level credits. They're not students who couldn't make up their mind on where to attend a college. They're also not students who failed out of a school and are looking for somewhere else to attend. While there may be similarities among transfer students, there isn't one single type of student who seeks to transfer into an institution.

Drexel defines transfer students as individuals who have completed any college coursework, post high school graduation. So, in the literal sense, students would utilize the transfer application when they have taken college credits as part of a degree-seeking program after they graduate high school. The application requirements vary slightly depending on how many credits you have, as we may need to evaluate both college and high school transcripts as well as standardized test scores.

Transfer students could be coming from a four-year institution because they are interested in pursuing a different option along their educational journey. Transfer students could also be students who decided to pursue a community college option, as sometimes at 17- or 18-years-old, they're not quite sure what they truly want to do yet, or it's a great option to test-drive college-level courses and save some money while starting out. Students with a military background are also considered transfer students, as they have been able to gain some college credits during their time in the military, or are looking to continue into our Military Transition Program. Lastly, we see transfer students who may already have a bachelor's degree in a different field and are looking to make an entire career change. In short, it's our hope through these descriptions that you realize there really isn't one path or single description of a transfer student. While they all have some college credits, there are many different pathways that may bring a transfer student's educational journey to Drexel.

One of the biggest things we hope you realize is that transfer students are just like any other student trying to find a community within a college setting.

They have the same goals and focus as everyone else on Drexel's campus; earning a world-class education. The only difference is that they had a different path to getting here. We want our transfer students to feel welcome and know that when they are admitted to Drexel and begin classes here, there is no label on them that shows people they are transfer students. They can share that on their own or discuss it one-on-one with their academic advisors, but once students transfer here they are just as much a part of the campus community and are able to find their niche.


Kelsey Kvandal is an Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions, specializing in transfer admissions. She is an avid reader, baker, and dog lover (no really, she will stop any dog on the street and insist on petting it).

Kelsey Kvandal

Jennifer Eichorn Brown
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