McCain Hall on Athens State University's campus

Three Essential Tips on Transferring from Community College to University

Make sure you get the hard-earned credits due to you

You’ve made a great choice in starting your education at a community college. You’re saving money on tuition. You’re building a strong academic foundation and a strong transcript. And you’re making it all happen while juggling work, family life, or both. 

Now comes the big question: will  transferring from a community college to a university be a real option? Will those hard-earned, hard-won credits you’ve accumulated transfer to a university experience of your own making?

The short answer?   Yes it will.

It can be daunting to navigate the transfer process when it seems every university’s articulation agreements and admissions requirements vary. But don’t be deterred. With a little help, you can maximize that community college experience and be well on your way to a bachelor’s degree.

There are three essential tips you need to know when you’re transferring credit. Make sure you’ve got these covered and you’ll be on your way to success. 

1. Plan Ahead

Whether you’re taking an in-person or online courses at a two-year community college, knowing what you want to study will help you map out a path and understand how to make the decisions that come next. 

In many cases, choosing a community college and university where the relationship between student and institution is already well defined will simplify your transfer process. Ask an admissions counselor at the school you’re most interested in attending, and they’ll help you understand your program options. 

Start by organizing yourself for the transfer as early as possible. Collecting records and developing the right advisor and admissions relationships early will make the official process smoother when it’s time to actually complete the paperwork.

2. Work Towards a Goal

Taking a variety of classes is great for exploring interests. But, once you decide what you want to study and declare a major, it is important to ensure that every class you take pre-transfer positively impacts the rest of your education after the move.

One way to maximize the alignment between your community college classes and ensuing university classes is to focus on general education requirements that you will need before you can move on to more advanced Junior and Senior year workloads. Identifying your intended course of study at a university before you transfer empowers you to choose classes that will transfer easily and meet those requirements. 

It might go without saying, but the work you put in will also determine your results. Set the bar high for yourself, stay focused, and you’ll be much better positioned to hit the mark when it’s time to apply for admission

Check out  Transfer Equivalency Guide to learn how many of your courses may transfer to Athens State.

3. Do Your Research

Whether or not you know exactly what you want to study, or even which university you will choose to finish your degree, there will be a lot of research necessary to maximize your credit transfer. Policies change a little bit each year. As do syllabus requirements and admissions standards.  Knowing the details of your specific transfer process ahead of time will help you choose courses that provide the most value to the overall degree you’re earning. 

And a little care and feeding can go a long way with advancing the outcome you want. So take the time, and begin to build a relationship with an admissions counselor or academic advisor. It will go a long way toward smoothly navigating these decisions. Ask lots of questions specific to your situation, whether that’s about schedule, finances, or potential degree programs. Doing the research now will save you heartache later. 

Ultimately, choosing a university that understands the decision to finish your education will go a long way toward making the transfer process easy and rewarding. You’ll find their advisors helpful, their expectations clear, and your opportunities bright.