How to Transfer From Community College to a Four-Year School

How to Transfer From Community College to a Four-Year School
  • Opening Intro -

    America’s community colleges which include technical colleges and junior colleges are often a great place for high school graduates to begin their higher education.

    These schools offer curriculum equivalent to the first two years of a four-year institution, but at a fraction of the price. Especially for government managed schools.


Some students attend community colleges to obtain a certificate or an associate degree, but have no plans for furthering their education. The program available at their local school is sufficient for their needs, equipping them to pursue a particular trade or career path.

For students wanting to go on to a four-year school, community colleges offer very good preparation. Transferring usually isn’t that difficult especially in states where a clearly defined path has been laid out. Let’s take a look at what you must do to secure that transfer:

Get recommended — Find two or three community college instructors or professors who can vouch for your academic capabilities. These teachers know who you are, what you have done during your two years at school and your likelihood for academic success. You’ll be asking them for letters of recommendation for your application to a four-year school.

Get the credits — When you finish up community college, you’ll have at least 60 credits to your name. However, most four-year schools will look closely at the courses you have taken and decide which credits to accept. If you complete an associate degree and it took you 76 credits to get there, expect as little as 60 credits to be transferred. You may be required to get the remaining 60 at your new college.

Meet with your adviser — Your community college adviser is the one most suitable for guiding you as you prepare to transfer. She can review your transcripts, ensure that you’re ready to graduate and discuss schools where you can seek a transfer. If you’re going to a state college, many community colleges have established relationships with these schools, making a transfer easy to accomplish. Your adviser will be able to help you make the transfer to a private college if that is your desire and she’ll be the one to officially “sign off” on your transfer.

Know what is required — Understand what your new school requires before you make the transfer. Some four-year schools will transfer your GPA while others will not. Some schools have certain state academic requirements or basic skill courses you must take in addition to the course requirement. You might be able to take these courses while still at community college and for lower tuition.

Declare a major — Most four-year colleges require incoming juniors to have declared a major. You’ll need to do the same particularly for larger universities consisting of several schools such as business, nursing, science, technology and arts. Your application will go to the university with a school designated to review your academic experience and educational goals.

Be Prepared

Leave nothing to chance when preparing a transfer which means you should start exploring your options well before your last semester at community college. Some schools have rolling admissions while others have certain dates when you must make your application. Use college planning forms and tools so that you don’t miss important deadlines.


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Categories: Academics