When you switch colleges, you can't just take financial aid with you. This includes federal student aid and loans. While your student loans do not transfer with you, you may be eligible for similar amounts, or in some cases even more, at the new school. Stay on top of the transfer process if you want to get your student loans in a timely manner at the new school.
Request that your Student Aid Report from your Free Application for Federal Student Aid be sent to the new school by adding the new school to your FAFSA. You can submit this request online at fafsa.ed.gov. Select the option for returning users -- add a school. You need to know information about your new school. Ask the new school for their code, or check their financial aid web page for the code to make sure you send the information to the correct school.
Cancel your financial aid at your current school. Contact your current school's financial aid office and notify them that you will be transferring. You may need to withdraw from classes if you have already registered for an upcoming semester. You cannot receive a loan at the new school until the one at the old school has been cancelled.
Tell your new school's financial aid office where you previously attended. You may be required to complete a new master promissory note at the new school.
Complete exit counseling requirements at your old school for the loans you received from them. For many loans, this can be completed online at studentloans.gov. Ask your old financial aid office about exit counseling requirements. Failure to complete this might result in a hold placed on your records, complicating or delaying communication or records transfer to the new school.
Submit your student loan deferment forms to prove you are attending school at least half-time at a new school, so your loans from the old school remain in deferment. This lets everyone know that you are still in school -- just attending elsewhere.
- Missouri Department of Higher Education: Information for Transferring Students
- University of California Irvine: Loan Counseling (Entrance and Exit Counseling)
- Pennsylvania HIgher Education Assistance Agency: Exit Counseling -- Who Needs It?
- Howard Community College: Frequently Asked Questions -- Federal Direct Plus Loans
- Citizens Financial Group: Transferring Your College Student Loans to a New University
- American Student Assistance: 3 Student Loan Tips for Transfer Students
- Fast Web: How Do I Transfer Financial Aid from One College to Another?
Sara Mahuron specializes in adult/higher education, parenting, budget travel and personal finance. She earned an M.S. in adult/organizational learning and leadership, as well as an Ed.S. in educational leadership, both from the University of Idaho. Mahuron also holds a B.S. in psychology and a B.A. in international studies-business and economics.