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Transfer students are the heart of our work, and NISTS prioritizes listening to students and learning from them.

The Transfer Student Ambassador Program invites up to four outstanding transfer students to influence the national transfer conversation by sharing their voices at the NISTS annual conference and facilitating a transfer-related program at their home institutions.


Nominees must submit a letter of recommendation, resume, and both a written and video narrative describing their transfer journey, how their personal interests match this opportunity, and why it’s important to advocate for transfer student needs. Winners are selected for their demonstrated excellence in leadership, public speaking skills, and potential for sharing meaningful information with transfer professionals at the local and national levels.

The national transfer student ambassador application is currently closed and will reopen in summer 2024.



The students selected to participate in this program will share their stories and insights with transfer professionals at the NISTS annual conference, through our website, and social media channels. In addition, Ambassadors will begin or continue working with staff or faculty at their home campus to advance transfer-affirming programs and advocacy efforts.

Specific benefits include:


  • A $500 scholarship in recognition of your personal and academic achievements

  • Complimentary registration and lodging for the NISTS annual conference, plus up to $500 in travel expense reimbursement

  • Recognition on the NISTS website and at the NISTS annual conference 

  • Valuable, resume-building experience for career and/or graduate school

  • Opportunity to publish a brief article on the NISTS website or participate in a Transfer Nation Talks podcast interview 

  • Extended involvement opportunities with NISTS, if desired 


  • Complimentary registration and lodging for the in-person NISTS annual conference for one professional staff or faculty member from your previous or current institution to travel with you to St. Louis (does not include any other travel expense reimbursement)

Participation Requirements

Annual Conference Duties


Students selected to participate in the Ambassador program must attend the NISTS 2024 annual conference held February 21-23, 2024, in St. Louis, Missouri.


  • Prior to the conference, Ambassadors attend 3-4 Zoom calls with NISTS staff to discuss conference planning, promotion, and blogging.

  • During the conference, Ambassadors will participate in a variety of conference activities, including but not limited to: the annual awards ceremony, a transfer student panel, meet-and-greet sessions with conference participants, and other special projects that are aligned with personal interests and professional development goals.

  • After the conference, Ambassadors will recap their experiences via the NISTS blog and will be asked to formally share their insights and lessons learned with the faculty and staff on their current or previous campus.

Submitting Your Application


  • Students must be currently enrolled in an undergraduate degree program and take at least one class during fall 2023 and spring 2024.

    • Please note: Fall 2023 graduates are eligible, provided they can commit to all the participation requirements outlined above. Students who graduated before Fall 2023 are not eligible.

  • We recommend that students have completed at least one semester post-transfer when they apply or are nominated for the award.

  • Students must be able to provide a Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) to receive scholarship funds.    

  • Previous dual enrollment does not meet the criteria for collegiate transfer in this context.


Required Application Materials


NOTE: Before uploading your materials, please save all your files in the following format:  “Last Name_First Name-Item.”

1.  Resume (1-2 pages)

2.  Personal Essay (2-3 pages)

  • Describe your transfer journey. 

  • Some questions you might want to answer include:

    • Where did you begin your college career? Where did you end up?

    • What factors influenced your decision to transfer? Had you always planned it, or did something/someone specific put it on your radar?

    • What drew you to your new campus? Were you concerned about changing schools?

    • What has been the best or worst part of adjusting to a new institution?

    • What do you wish you had known before transferring? 

    • Why do you want to be a National Transfer Student Ambassador? Why is it important to advocate for transfer students? 


3.  Video (maximum 3 minutes)

  • Your video should summarize your transfer journey and highlight the major insights and takeaways you learned about the process and yourself. 

  • We're looking for a glimpse into your personality and public speaking abilities, so please do not read directly from your personal essay.

  • We need to see and hear you clearly, but we don't expect a high level of video production.

  • Your video should be created specifically for this application. Videos created to market your institution are not eligible.

  •  Applicants who submit videos that exceed the specified time limit will be automatically disqualified.


IMPORTANT:  To facilitate broad access for our award reviewers, your video must be posted online and made available to NISTS staff and affiliates via a web link (e.g. YouTube or Vimeo).

Students selected for the ambassador program will be asked to share their videos publicly during National Transfer Student Week, October 16-20, 2023.


4.  Head Shot (JPEG or PNG)

  • Your headshot will be used for award publicity only. 

  • Please submit a high-quality image that is, at minimum, 500 px by 500 px and 300 ppi. (If you do not have a headshot, the University Relations or Career Service offices at your school might be able to help.)


5.  Letter of Recommendation (1-2 pages)

  • Be sure to pick someone who can write about your fit for the award, according to the selection criteria outlined above. We recommend sharing this guide to writing nomination letters with them in case it's useful. 

  • This person can be from your current or previous institution. 

  • You’ll need their contact information to complete the application (name, title, department, email, phone, etc.).​

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