Do transfer students get less financial aid?

Do transfer students get less financial aid? Honestly, it depends.

Each college and university has a different way of dealing with financial aid allocations, and in some cases, how they allocate to transfer students. It’s important to know going into your transfer that you are basically starting brand new. What you got at your last college in no way determines what you’ll get at the new one.

Let’s talk about the potential obstacles that might come up.

Less Financial Aid for Transfer Students

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Unfortunately, when it comes to institutional financial support, colleges tend to hold more money for incoming freshman and not as much for transfer students. That includes things like grants and scholarships that you may have gotten from your previous school, that you won’t get at the new one.

This can be a hard obstacle to face if your institutional aid was significant at your previous school. 

In some cases, a school may not hold any institutional funds for transfer students, which means there is no chance of you receiving grants or scholarships from the school if you decide to transfer. 

When You Transfer Matters

In some cases, you’ll get more college-based assistance if you transfer in the Fall rather than halfway through the year (such as Spring semester). That’s because most schools allocate their money on a first-come, first-served basis. 


They have already allocated a large number of their funds to students who started in the fall, leaving transfer students with what’s leftover.

To maximize your aid, it’s best to transfer schools in the fall. 

Fear Not! Some Schools Have Great Financial Aid Packages for Transfer Students

Other schools love to support their transfer students and offer significant financial aid packages for them when it comes to college-based aid. 

Honestly, the best thing you can do is talk to your potential school’s financial aid office and see what their typical offerings are for transfer students. That way, you’re not surprised when the financial aid offer comes through less than you expected.