Transfer Advising Mission
Valley Forge Military College is dedicated to maintaining its strong academic reputation and insuring that its graduates continue their education at quality colleges and universities. Each year, graduates of VFMC’s Associate degree programs transfer successfully to a college of their choice. The process of preparing to transfer to a competitive college or university at the completion of the sophomore year at VFMC begins with the student’s first semester commitment to academic achievement.
The transfer advisor is a vital link in the transfer preparation program. Students are advised to pursue programs and select courses that will support their academic and transfer goals. The Dean of Student Academic Services and the Director of College Transfer Advising are responsible for assisting students in identifying and selecting colleges and universities that are compatible with their academic objectives and capabilities.
The student-advisor relationship is meant to be informative, supportive, concerned, and one in which effective decision making and academic planning can occur. Information is provided to each student throughout the academic year via individual and group counseling sessions. This information is supplemented with added individual advising sessions, campus visits with admissions representatives, and orientations to assist students the transfer admissions application and for the admissions interviews.
The following Frequently Asked Questions will help guide the transfer student through the process:
1. How do I select a college?
First, think hard about your career goals, and your intended major in your four year college. Talk to people in the career fields that you are considering. These may be teachers, friends or family members. Do some research through the internet, at the library or bookstore, and by telephone and mail to find out which colleges offer your intended major. Such publications as Peterson’s Guide, Fisk’s Guide, Barron’s and U.S. News and World Report provide useful information regarding college profiles. There are a number of college guides to choose from available in bookstores and on the web. In addition, most colleges have their own websites which provide information on academics, admission information for transfer student, and often virtual tours.
Check out the admission requirements for transfer students, as well as other relevant information on extra-curricular offerings and special programs that interest you. Make sure that the colleges do accept transfer students, and specifically in your intended major. For example, at present, Penn State University Park does not accept transfer students into their business college. Princeton does not accept transfer students at all. Some college admissions restrictions may vary from year to year.
Plan campus visits to get the flavor of the college. Most colleges have a regular schedule of campus tours and information sessions which can be found on their websites. Saturday tours are usually available on specified dates. Once you have narrowed down your college choice list, schedule meetings with admissions and financial aid officials, and with faculty members in your intended department. Sit in on a class or two, and if time permits, stay overnight. Sophomores are authorized one college leave day each semester. Contact the colleges at least two weeks in advance of your visit to assure a productive visitation.
Watch the Transfer Bulletin Board for postings of visits by college/university representatives and trips to campuses in the greater Philadelphia region. Sophomores should schedule an interview with a transfer advisor to review a college list that ideally includes four to five colleges. The list should include at least one “reach” choice, a “security” option, and two “match” selections. Make informed choices that truly excite you.
2. What timeline should I follow?
Students are encouraged to make initial contact with a Transfer Advisor in the spring of their freshman year as they begin to develop their individual transfer plan. At a minimum, students are required to attend the Freshman Transfer Information Session held each spring to provide preliminary advisement.
Freshman Year (First Semester)
- Academics should be your first priority. Build a competitive academic record.
Freshman Year (Second Semester and Summer)
- Attend college orientation.
- Write to colleges and request a catalogue and a transfer application. This can usually be done electronically through the colleges’ websites, if you choose.
- International students should ask for an international supplement.
- Visit the campuses over the summer, if possible, to begin to narrow your choices.
- Make a tentative decision over the summer regarding the colleges.
Sophomore Year (August/ September)
- Attend September transfer orientation to meet your assigned transfer advisor.
- Make an appointment with your transfer advisor.
- Review requirements of the colleges of your choice to determine any special requirements, such as SAT/ACT requirements and for international students TOEFL requirements. Decide whether or not you need to re-take any standardized exams. If so, check the registration deadlines, and get scheduled.
- Make a note of transfer application deadlines for each college.
- Review all additional transfer requirements for your colleges and any requirements specific to your field of study.
- Compose drafts of required essays.
- Prepare an activities resume to include with your application. It is recommended that your activities resume include three categories only: usually Academic Achievement, Leadership, and Community Service.
Sophomore Year (Fall Semester)
- Complete at least two applications and submit them to your transfer advisor.
- Completed application packets will include:
Essay, if required or optional
Transcripts from all colleges attended; and high school transcript, if required
Letters of Recommendation from faculty members, plus any additional recommendation forms required by the college – e.g. from dean/ advisor
Plus, you will need to send in your application fee before your packet will be considered.
Some colleges will also require that you submit your SAT/ACT score report.
- Ask faculty members to write you a letter of recommendation. It is advised that you ask at least two faculty members to write letters of recommendation for you. Remember that faculty and staff are busy and should be provided at least two weeks to prepare letters of recommendation. You should provide faculty members with a copy of your activities resume, which can assist them in writing your letters.
- Request official transcripts from your high school, and previous colleges attended, if applicable. A signed request must be sent to each school.
- Arrange additional college visits, if desired.
- Schedule a visit at your chosen college. Plan to meet with a transfer admissions counselor, the financial aid office, and a faculty member from your intended department. Ask admissions if they will allow you to sit in on a class.
- Submit financial aid requests before the deadlines. Go to www.fafsa.ed.gov for more information.
- Mid-year graduates should complete college applications by specified fall dates.
Sophomore Year (January through March)
- Complete all applications, finalize your essays, and assemble all of your supporting credentials. It is advised to that you apply to four to five colleges of your choice, with a minimum of two. Transfer advisors will collaborate on at least four applications.
- To request official Valley Forge transcripts, submit a Transcript Request Form through your transfer advisor. Allow a minimum of one week to process your transcript request.
- Carefully track application deadlines for your chosen colleges. Some colleges have earlier deadlines for specific majors.
- Once all application materials are ready, mail your application to the college, together with a check for the application fee.
- Review application status with your transfer advisor. Do not hesitate to contact the college to check on the receipt of all transfer application materials.
- Receive acceptances. Credit evaluations are often sent after receipt of final transcript with spring grades included. Keep your transfer advisor informed of acceptances. Bring in letters of acceptance to transfer advisor.
- Every college requires a final transcript. File your request for final transcripts before departing campus following graduation.
3. How can I achieve maximum credit transfer?
Contact department chairs to learn about prerequisite courses and major requirements for all schools on your list. Then use this information to plan your course of study with your Valley Forge academic advisor. Often admissions representatives refer you to the department heads. Your transfer advisor can be a good resource person, but the final word on acceptable courses is that of the four-year transfer institution.
4. Will my college essay play a major role in the admission decision?
Yes. The essay that you write is a very important supporting credential. Beyond the academic transcript, this writing tells about you personally from your perspective. It is your opportunity to let the admissions representative know who you are and why you will be an ideal addition to the school’s academic community. No magic formula exists for the perfect college essay. In general, the essay should be about one to two double spaced typed pages in length. Often, colleges ask you to describe a personal challenge; they learn about the personal qualities and survival skills and attitudes that you use to solve problems and confront conflicts and crises. Portray yourself and the situation realistically.
Use vivid description and narration to describe people and situations. Specific examples and illustrations help the reader understand your observations.
Write multiple drafts to assure that your best work showcases your content and writing skills. And always word process the final copy.
LTC Nan Hood
Assistant Dean of Transfer Advising