When should I start applying to transfer to another college?
You should begin well before the university's posted deadline date (also refer to an institution's webpage for the deadline dates). At some colleges, the application deadline means, that was the last day for all components of the admissions file (application and fee, transcripts, and other supporting documents) to be completed – not the last day that a student can put the application in the mail. The majority of colleges and universities have moved away from using paper applications. Even many of those who still have paper available, have also got their application posted on line for an electronic submission. There really is no excuse for being late.
A general rule of thumb is – file your applications at the very beginning of which ever is to be your last full term/semester before the intended transfer. If you hope to begin at the next college for the Fall term, you should be filing the application at the very beginning of the Spring term. Likewise, if you are applying to begin at the next college for the January term (Spring) then you should be filing your applications by mid-September of the Fall term. Colleges that announce that they have rolling admission mean that they will continue taking applications until they fill up. This does give a student a bit more flexibility about applying but remember, if you are applying for a competitive major, when its full, they will stop without further notice.