Can I transfer my financial aid to a new school?

Once you figure out if your college credits will transfer to a different school, the next step is transferring your financial aid and any student loans. Just because you enroll in a new school doesn’t mean all of your financial aid will transfer. Some government aid will transfer, but school-based grants and scholarships will not.

The new school you’re planning to attend will use your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) information to determine how much aid you will receive. You just have to add the new school to your online FAFSA, which can include up to 10 schools at a time. If you decide to transfer in the middle of an academic year, you’ll only receive the remaining amount of government aid you’re eligible for, minus what you earned at the previous school. You will also receive a lesser amount of aid if the new school you’re planning to attend costs less than your former school.

Transferring to a new school in the middle of a semester is difficult, and many times not possible. Some schools make you wait until the beginning of a new semester to enroll. Plus, your financial aid is typically considered fully “earned” once you’ve made it about 60 percent through the semester, so transferring to a new school mid-semester could mean you lose your financial aid for that semester.

It’s best to talk with the admissions office or an advisor at the college you’re planning to transfer to. They can help you determine what financial aid will transfer and guide you in the steps to complete the process.

You can check your financial aid status or transfer your state financial aid online using your ScholarTrack account.

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