By Carl Speaks
Do you know what it takes to transfer from a community college to a four-year college? Do you already know which college or university that you want to transfer to? Here are a few things you should know before you move on:
1. Don’t wait. Start looking into which college or university would be the right fit for you economically, geographically and based on your major as early as you can.
2. Be involved. Look into community college programs and clubs which might interest you that may also provide scholarship opportunities.
3. Check the relationship. Your community college could have special relationships with other four-year colleges, providing an economic “leg-up” on your transfer.
4. Do your credits transfer? Not all credits earned at community college are accepted at every four-year college. This means that some of the classes you take or have already taken may have to be re-taken at the four-year level. Graduating with an Associate degree at community college is a sure way to avoid repeating classes.
5. Check the GPA and credits. Some four-year colleges and universities require a minimum number of credits completed and/or a minimum GPA score in order to be considered for admission.
6. Gather information. Do not be afraid to contact colleges for information on what they have to offer. Websites and literature offered at the college is great, but speaking to someone at the college may give you information “between the lines”.
7. Communicate with your advisers. Not only will your community college advisers be able to help you in planning the transfer, but advisers at your target college are more than willing to help you in making it happen.
8. Look for the money. FAFSA is a great way to help take care of admission, but there may be more money out there at your disposal. Check if local businesses offer help, apply for any and every scholarship that fits (you can’t get the money if you don’t apply for it), contact your target college to see if they offer scholarships for transfer students and see if your community college adviser has information on other sources of free money you may be eligible for.
9. Those who’ve gone before. Check with other students who have already transferred to see if they can give insight into the transfer process. You could learn from what they have already done (or wish they had done).
10. Hold onto your smile. Attitude can be “make or break” when communicating with advisers. It can be stressful, but holding onto a smile is the difference between stressful and successful.