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How to Transfer from Community College to a Four-Year University

Starting at a community college before going to a four-year school makes good financial sense because the tuition is generally much lower. Keep a few things in mind if you want to make a switch.

Instructions

  • Step 1: Plan ahead Investigate the policies of four-year schools you'd like to attend. Some universities accept all transfer credits from accredited community colleges, while others will only take certain courses. And a few don't accept transfer credits at all.
  • TIP: Make sure your community college is accredited – universities only take credits from schools formally recognized by a regional, national, or professional agency. Verify this information at "ope.ed.gov/accreditation":http://ope.ed.gov/accreditation.
  • Step 2: Talk to an adviser and a career counselor Talk to your adviser and a career counselor at your community college. They can make the process go more smoothly by providing a recommendation and explaining the details to you.
  • Step 3: Take the basics If you don't know where you want to transfer when you start, make sure to sign up for courses at your community college that are likely to transfer for credit. For instance, nearly every university will take credits from English composition, lab sciences, and a nonremedial math class.
  • Step 4: Think about a major Even if you haven't declared a major yet, narrow your interests to one field and take related courses. It will demonstrate to universities that you're focused.
  • Step 5: Make the grade Keep your grades up – you'll need them to transfer to your university of choice. Some state schools offer guaranteed admission to students with high grade point averages from certain community colleges.
  • Step 6: Meet with your top schools Contact the admissions offices of the schools you'd like to attend for information, and ask them exactly what you need to do to be considered.
  • Step 7: Look into financial aid Check out all your options for loans, grants, and scholarships. Talk with the financial aid offices at all of the colleges you are seriously considering. Also, look online. Type "financial aid," your state, and the university into a search engine, or head to "fafsa.ed.gov":http://fafsa.ed.gov for federal aid options.
  • Step 8: Apply When you have enough credits, apply for your transfer. All schools have different admission requirements and deadlines, but you'll likely have to fill out an application, provide copies of your high school and college transcripts, and submit recommendations. Have your adviser look over everything before sending it off. Good luck!
  • FACT: Twenty-two percent of the nation's two-year public college students are enrolled in California.

You Will Need

  • Credits from a community college
  • An idea of where you want to transfer

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