Many students attend community college knowing that they intend to transfer to a four-year institution down the road. Sometimes students will begin their education at community college because they’re unsure of what they want to study or because community college credits are more affordable. Some students want to take some time to develop strong academic skills before moving onto another college or university. These reasons make sense. What most people don’t realize is that they can begin planning early to make the transfer process an easy one.
Seek Advisement Early On
Seriously. I know I’ve said this a million times, but talking to an adviser from the very beginning of your college career can help you to navigate the ins and outs of college and can also save you lots of stress. If you think you’d like to transfer to a four-year college, talk to an adviser in your first semester to explore your options. Certain classes are widely accepted at most transfer schools, while it’s likely that other kinds of courses may not be accepted. An adviser can help you to choose the courses that will most likely transfer easily, saving you time and money in the long run. If you are focused on a certain major or school, it’s even more important to talk to an adviser. With some majors, it’s better to transfer before you’ve completed an associate’s degree. An adviser can tell you if yours fits this bill.
Talk to Transfer Representatives
Ask your adviser for a schedule of when various representatives from transfer institutions will be visiting your campus. You may even see flyers for transfer visits. Be sure to sign up to meet with the rep from your desired institution or even for more than one school to get an overview of what each offers. These transfer reps can give you specific informaton about tuition costs, entrance requirements, and other pertinent facts you’ll need to make an informed decision about where you will finish your undergraduate degree. Visit transfer fairs at your school, usually offered in the spring, to talk to reps from local institutions all at once.
Follow Through With the Details
Admission to a transfer school requires the same things you needed to get into community college. Be sure all paperwork is filled out completely and turned in on time. You’ll need to secure copies of your community college transcripts to include in your admissions application, and financial aid will need to be completed for the following school year. Visit the institution of your choice to get a feel for the campus and have additional questions answered.
Transferring to a four-year school doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be a nearly seemless transition if you prepare a bit ahead of time and do your research.