Typically, a student earns their associate degree during their years at a community college which turns into a complete four-year degree by transferring to another university. This process is known as the articulation agreement and helps a student transition while carrying all the previous electives and other courses to the new university.
It helps ensure that students don’t lose some of their credit scores as they transition.
This is the traditional method where every student who wants to pursue a four-year degree has to transition. However, some students prefer moving from one community college to another after a few months.
There is no doubt that student life is complicated; more than 30% of first-year college students drop out before sophomore year. This makes having a smooth transferring plan even more critical for all students.
Transferring community colleges has become commonplace for multiple reasons and does not have to be stressful.
More and more students now prefer to change their community college as they try to find a better fit for their overall career plan or save some costs on tuition fees.
You may find that a different community college offers better degree plans that are either more affordable, flexible, or relevant to your specific goals.
Regardless of the reason, there are multiple guides available to help students like you in making the transition without running into delays or disappointments.
Below is our straightforward guide on managing your credits, prerequisites, requirements, and application process when transferring from one community college to another.
Transferring From One Community College to Another
Most community colleges have open enrollment, allowing students to apply without the GPA related to their previous college or other courses.
You will only need to submit your high school or another equivalent diploma along with the SAT or other relevant test scores. Other tests may be involved for specific courses, such as reading or math exams which vary with the subject you choose.
Besides this, some community colleges can require additional prerequisite courses before you transfer from your previous community college.
In such a case, you will need to prepare an official transcript showing all your new credits earned for that course. This is typically sent to the admission office, and the new credit score will be applied to the recent transcript.
However, it is never guaranteed that all your previously earned credits will be transferred to your new transcript. This is because not all courses at one college will have a direct equivalent course in the other college.
For this reason, some credits may not hold as much weight, and you may lose some progress in your credit score. Fortunately, the decision is not always strictly calculated like this and entirely up to the discretion of your new school admin.
Since you have been previously enrolled in a different community college, you probably do not need guidance with the enrollment process. The only challenge you may find will be preparing for all the transfer requirements and fulfilling them before the due date.
Your new college will be the best source of guidance at this point, and signing up with an account on the school's website is therefore essential.
Most of your transfer process can be primarily done through the online portal. Your new college should send you the assigned student email ID within three to five days, along with the password and student ID.
Ensure that you always keep your notifications for those important emails, so you don't miss out on important information. Things like admission holds or to-dos can disrupt your preplanned courses and enrollment classes.
An admission hold means your college requires more information from you, such as proofs for the provided certifications or your state residency. Some colleges also require multiple prerequisite courses completed before enrolling in any classes.
This can also be notified to you as an admission hold and therefore must be fulfilled beforehand so you don't delay your classes.
Things to Keep In Mind
There are always things that can make or break a fresh start at a new college. While the whole transfer process can be overwhelming, keeping the essentials in mind for the new school is also essential.
Once you have gone through the transfer process, you may find the tips below helpful in having a stress-free experience ahead.
You may want to update your application to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) with the details about your new college. This will help you stay updated with all the scholarships and funding available for your particular college.
Most scholarships and grants can have time-restricted conditions and therefore should be applied to as soon as possible.
Once you transfer, the same courses and degree pathway may differ from what you had planned in your previous college. Make sure to visit your academic counselor or advisor to review the new options you have. This will help you continue the final balance without running into problems related to your degree plan, credits, or elective courses.
Moreover, if you plan on transferring to a different school or degree plan in the future, your academic advisor can help you maintain the needed credit scores.
While seemingly straightforward, it's essential to keep track of all your class start dates.
You don't want to miss the first day of a class or any other important orientation day. It's best to have it written down or added to your electronic calendar for a brilliant start.
Lastly, have all the books and resource materials for all your classes purchased beforehand. Most professors will update the resources list before the classes start, either through the online portal or an email.
Purchasing everything beforehand can help you find the best price for each textbook rather than overpay in a hurry.
While a transfer can be challenging in terms of requirements and prerequisites, everything can be sorted out in time with proper guidance. Make sure to always think about your new college and keep up with the admission information they put on their online portal.
All prerequisites should be completed a few weeks before enrollment, so you don't have to waste time waiting for the results and scores.