A Student Who Transfers From Community College To A University Does Better

A male transfer student sitting in front of a laptop staring at college professor.

Statistically, it is proven a student who transfers from a community college to a university has a higher graduation rate than non-transfer students.

Attending a community college and then transferring to a 4-year university is not only a great choice for many students but also an option that I highly recommend. The benefits of attending a community college are enormous. Lower tuition rate, lower living expenses, flexible schedule, and if you are still in high school concurrent enrollment.

Students who intend to earn a bachelor’s degree at a 4-year university can complete the first two years of their college at a community college. Students will enroll in general education, electives, and major courses. These classes are basically the same courses you would complete in the first two years at a 4-year university. However, by completing them at the community college level, you save significantly on the cost of tuition. The amount of money you will save going to a community college before transferring is the biggest benefit.

Attending a community college makes transferring to a 4-year university easier. Especially if you take advantage of a College Transfer Program. If you have never heard of a College Transfer Program, you need to look into it immediately. Hopefully, your community college has one.

Guarantee To Get Accepted Into A University And Your Major

I started community college at 13 as a current enrollment student, I always knew I would be a transfer student. The benefits of community college were amazing. I graduated with my AS Degree in Business Administration at 17.  Technically I graduated with an AS-T degree. The “T” represents “transfer”. I usually drop the “T” when listing my degree because most people are not familiar with it. I want you to get very familiar with it. It was the transfer part of my degree that allowed me to transfer to a state college as a junior and be accepted directly into my major. I graduated at 19 with my BS in Business Entrepreneurship. The transfer was seamless because I took advantage of my community college’s Transfer Program.

Be sure to read all about, The Benefits Of Community College.

Transfer Program

The College Transfer Program is designed for students who plan to complete a bachelor’s degree at a 4-year university. Students who complete the program and receive their associate’s transfer degree, either an AA-T or AS-T, will be able to transfer to selected universities with junior status.

Transfer Programs are bound by articulation agreements (partnerships) between a community college and usually other community colleges, independent colleges, in-state universities, and out-of-state institutions. Articulation is the process of evaluating courses to determine whether coursework completed at one institution will meet the requirements at another institution for admission, transferable credits, general education, or major preparation. Articulation agreements are a guide and do change occasionally, make sure the classes you are taking are meeting the requirements. I earned my degrees in the state of California and Assist.org was the site I used. If your transfer program isn’t available online be sure to meet with an academic advisor.

Benefits Of A Transfer Degree

When I earned my transfer degree, it came with a lot of perks. First, I was guaranteed to get into a state college. If my first choice was full then I could pick a second and third and so on. It’s a guarantee you’ll get into one of them. I was able to transfer to my first choice as most students do. I transferred as a junior and I went right into my major.

Two of the biggest bonuses were, that I didn’t have to take some required prerequisites because some of the classes I took for my AS-T degree fulfilled them and I would earn my degree in 60 credits or less. This meant if there were required classes that went over the 60 credits the university would drop them. As an AS-T transfer student, I was the only one with these benefits. My classmates were shocked to hear that I wasn’t required to take some of the classes they were.

If your community college doesn’t have a College Transfer Program or it has one but not for your major, I still encourage you to transfer with a degree. Obtaining your associate degree usually implies you will be transferring to a 4-year university with junior status. It also looks really good on your admission application; you already have one degree under your belt.

How To Transfer From A Community College

When a student is transferring to a 4-year university, the university will review the student’s transcripts to see what classes they will accept as transfer credits. They are basically checking to see what classes you’ve taken that match theirs. Just because you take a class at the community college doesn’t always mean it will transfer. They will then determine how many credits will count toward your bachelor’s degree.

brown wooden fence with a sign that reads this way. A transfer student needs to know how to transfer

Typically, a bachelor’s degree is 120 credits. If you transfer with 40 credits you would need to take 80 credits to graduate. Therefore, once you transferred, if you took a full semester load, which is a minimum of 15 credits a semester, you would not graduate in 2 years. The slogan is, Through In Two, Finish In Four. Community college students should earn an associate degree in 2 years. University freshmen should take 4 years to earn a bachelor’s degree. A transfer student should take 2 years. It will take you more than 2 years if you transfer with only 40 credits.

When I transferred, I knew that my university would take exactly 70 transfer credits—I did my research. While it took 60 credits to earn my associate’s degree. I chose to stay at my community college and earn the extra 10 credits to transfer while taking advantage of cheaper tuition. I wasn’t going to transfer from my community college until I had those 70 credits.

This Is How I Graduated Quickly And Efficiently

I knew my bachelor’s degree was 120 credits, so by basic credit requirements, I needed 50 credits to graduate. However, the credit amount isn’t always an accurate way to ensure you’re on track to graduate. There are course requirements within your major that could easily require you to take more credits. This is where my Transfer Degree was beneficial, the transfer agreement ensured I took no more than 60 credits to complete my degree. If my degree path required more credits, the university would have to remove required courses to ensure that I would graduate taking 60 or fewer credits. If I took a full semester of 15 credits for the 2 years that would be 60 credits. With careful planning, I only took 57. I graduated in 3 semesters instead of 4 (I took 9 credits during the summer). This saved me thousands of dollars.

Transferring With A Minimum Of 30 Credits

When transferring to a university, if you don’t want to transfer with a degree or the maximum number of credits possible, I encourage you to transfer with a minimum of 30 credits. In most cases, you avoid taking an SAT test if you have over 30 credits. It’s also important to note, that if you have at least 24 credits at the community college level, high school grades are not considered. If you didn’t do well in high school, do well in your community college classes because once you hit that 24-credit mark, they won’t even look at your high school classes. Priority registration is given to students who have more credits. This is very important as many classes are impacted and fill up very quickly.