What To Expect When You Transfer From A Community College To University

by Chad Agrawal

Many community college students seek to transfer to a four-year university where they can complete their degree program, but transferring from community college to a four year university is never a guarantee.

Some transfer students who make it to four year schools run up against challenges that they had never thought of before, but should have considered before transferring. Here are 5 common problems that transfer students tend to face, along with solutions for easily overcoming them:

The Location

One of the benefits of attending a community college is that students can usually continue to live at home with their parents and avoid having to pay substantial sums in rent. Once successfully transferred however, many students will have to re-locate to attend their new school, leading to some potential issues. Re-locating to an unfamiliar place can be daunting, but this can be overcome by taking campus tours, asking locals for directions and simply walking around campus and its surrounding area until familiarity starts to set in.

The Level of Work

Although community college courses can be rigorous, university level work is usually substantially more difficult. Transfer students have usually only taken lower level courses at community college, but once they transfer to a four year school, they’re forced to tackle predominantly higher level courses. For students that struggle with the more advanced workload, they should seek out their school’s tutoring service as soon as they’ve transferred to set themselves up for academic success.

The Socialization

Making new friends is never easy, and it can be particularly difficult for transfer students. University students that have been there since freshmen year will have had at least two years to bond with their peers, whereas transfer students typically need to start entirely from scratch. Simple ways that transfer students can make friends include reaching out to other transfer students and attending any transfer events or mixers created to introduce them to the rest of the community, or by joining campus clubs. Joining a fraternity or sorority is another potential option, as is joining a campus sports league.

The Costs

Community colleges tend to be extremely cheap and convenient to attend, whereas four-year universities are almost always substantially more expensive. Transfer students should factor all of their costs into a financial plan and create a budget before leaving community college. This process will help students choose a school that they can actually afford. The average student graduates with some level of debt related to their education costs, but this debt doesn’t necessarily have to be substantial if the right choices are made early on.

Transferring from community college to a four-year school is a major transition for anyone, so it’s a good idea to plan and prepare for the move well in advance. Statistically, community college transfer students make excellent four-year university students, so for many students the initial shock of transferring is more than worth the drawbacks.

This post was written by Chad Agrawal

Chad Agrawal is the founder of CCTS, helping students transfer from community college to Ivy League, tier 1 or anywhere else by following this community college guide.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Gino Kawai June 17, 2012 at 10:54 am

I’m not sure where you are getting your info, but good topic. I needs to spend some time learning more or understanding more. Thanks for excellent information I was looking for this information for my mission.


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