5 Steps To Successful Transfer From Community College

by Tara Jackson

With the high cost of attending a four-year university, many students choose to start at a community college and transfer after 2 years. According to the American Association of Community Colleges, 7 million students were enrolled in community college last year; that’s about 44 percent of all undergraduates in the United States.

After taking general education courses there, with a low cost per credit, student can transfer these credits to a four-year university of their choice. Some students will transfer to harvard from community college and others will go to tier 1 schools. In fact, surveys show that approximately 50 percent and maybe as many as 80 percent of students who attend community college plan to transfer and earn a bachelor’s degree. Unfortunately, many of these students will fail to meet that goal. You should be planning for your transfer from the moment you plan to enroll in community college, and can follow several steps to make that transfer happen as smoothly as possible.

Research University Transfer Rules

Not all four-year universities accept transfer credits from community colleges, so it's important to research the rules for specific universities. In particular, learn how many credits you can transfer and whether the courses will fulfill general education requirements only or if they can also be used to count toward requirements in the major you plan to focus on.

Investigate Community Colleges

The nearest community college isn't necessarily the best one, so research community colleges in the area and choose the one with the best program for your needs. This is particularly true if you are planning to take specialized courses; a community college with a focus on a certain department may offer more courses in that subject. After choosing a college, students should complete enrollment paperwork before the semester begins.

Choose Courses that Will Transfer

Based on the information you learned from the four-year university you plan to transfer to, carefully choose your courses so that they will be sure to transfer. Picking only courses that will transfer ensures that the time and money spent in community college is as productive as possible. General education courses tend to be good bets, but it's important to take courses in a wide range of subjects so they will cover all of the university's general education requirements. In addition, save the syllabus for each course so it's available to submit to the university if needed.

Apply for Transfer to a Four-Year University

Check application deadlines early so you know when you’ll need to have all of your transfer materials submitted by. Four-year college applications are typically due in the winter for students who wish to transfer for the following fall. They are generally not due quite as early as the applications for first-year students, but it never hurts to turn in the application prior to the deadline. Because schools only accept a certain number of transfer students each year, applying early can help improve your chance of getting in.

Send Transcripts and Follow-Up for Successful Transfer

After getting accepted to a four-year university, you’ll need to forward your transcript. The community college's registrar's office can send an official transcript and course description booklet, which helps the university match each community college course to a comparable one so you can be awarded the applicable credit. Follow up with the registrar at the four-year university to ensure that all of the courses transferred successfully. If they didn't, submitting a syllabus for the course can help show what it covered.

With some careful planning, students can successfully navigate the transfer from community college to a four-year university. According to College Board and the American Association of Community Colleges, tuition at a community college costs about 36.2% of what you’ll spend to attend an average four year public school. That's a number that makes the process well worth the time and energy to transfer.

Facts and figures are cited from Collegeboard Advocacy.

This post was written by Tara Jackson

Tara Jackson is an education and career prep enthusiast. When she’s not writing about or researching colleges and careers for EduTrek, she enjoys reading classic literature, hiking in the mountains, and traveling. @tjatedutrek

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Cathy Depolito June 17, 2012 at 10:57 am

Definitely believe that which you stated. Your favorite reason appeared to be on the internet the simplest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I certainly get annoyed while people think about worries that they just don’t know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and defined out the whole thing without having side-effects , people could take a signal. Will likely be back to get more. Thanks


detesto February 11, 2013 at 11:34 am

I am happy to find so numerous beneficial information and facts in this case, we need develop more strategies in this regard.


milan February 11, 2013 at 12:36 pm

That’s a excellent collection of details you described here, I seriously believe we can be expecting a great deal more very soon.


Korchnak February 12, 2013 at 5:27 am

The quality of content is great as well as the final result 🙂


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: