Transfer students at two-year schools across Texas are scrambling for recommendations, pulling together applications and essays, and ripping out their hair in the process.

Many students who come to TJC enter University Studies to earn credits specifically to move to a larger, four-year school. But for many students, how to transfer is a mystery.

“It’s really a joint effort between what we do and an upper-level university,” Jan Adams, Director, Academic Advising for TJC, said. “We advise students with a suggested degree plan.”

Adams stressed the importance of contacting upper-level universities to see what they require as soon as possible.

“If a certain university is requiring things then it’s them you needto get in touch with,” Adams said.

The transfer application process is easier for students who have a good academic history.

“The first thing we look at in particular is your GPA,” Tara Wilkins, service representative for admissions at the University of North Texas, said. “Once we get past the GPA point, we look at activities, but to be honest, that [anything other than GPA matters] very little.”

GPA is generally agreed to be the most important factor for getting accepted into any university.

Jana Chancey, the Executive Director of Enrollment Management Services, and Jan Adams both said that other than good grades, well written essays, community service and being in contact with transfer universities help students feel better prepared for transfers.

Some universities require more than others. For instance, North Texas does not require essays and accepts a 2.5 GPA for transfers, but The University of Texas in Austin requires two admissions essays and usually accepts a GPA of no less than a 3.0.

So it is important to stand out from other applicants.

“They want you to be creative; you’re basically marketing yourself to that school,” Adams said.

Most schools in Texas accept the Apply Texas application. Apply Texas offers students the opportunity to use their saved information to complete a number of applications at the same time.

Chancey and Adams both said using the Apply Texas Web site is an efficient way to do admissions applications and that the Web site has the requirements of most universities already organized for students.

Universities encourage students not to get discouraged if they are not accepted on first try. Many factors go into making the decision of whether a student will or will not get accepted into their university of choice.

“Whenever we deny a student, it’s never a brick wall. Go a little longer and get your GPA up, and we would be happy to take another look,” Wilkins said.

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