Admissions: Transfer Credits from Community College

There is a lot of information out there about transferring credits from a community or city college to a private, public, or state university. The first thing to realize is there is no foolproof formula here and you will need to do some initial research and legwork to ensure that your junior college efforts are transferable to a degree programs at your future institutional choices.

Successful transfer of credits will depend on a myriad of factors. First you should assess the university or a selection of colleges from where you hope to ultimately earn your bachelors degree. Before enrolling in any junior college program, you must understand the transfer process from the perspective of both the community college and the four-year university which you aspire to attend. Recognize that compliance can differ depending on major and concentration, so don’t just assume that because a friend of yours successfully transferred from and into the same institutions, that your credits will also be honored.

Most community colleges offer a foundational two-year transfer program preparing students to continue their education towards a bachelors degree with a traditional four-year college. Junior college programs are highlighted by three segments of courses: general or required courses, elective courses, and very often specific courses that can provide a more nuanced preparation for a specific majors. In many ways this is no different than the academic routine in the first two years at a four year university.

Despite these seemingly packaged to transfer programs, take nothing for granted, as you want to ensure that the process is as seemless as sending the transcript over to your new college. Most community colleges have specific articulation agreements with both local and national four-year colleges. This standardizes the transferability of the courses you complete at the community college, creating a transparent matrix of how each credit can apply towards the graduation requirements at your four-year college. A key component here, again, is that these agreements may only apply towards individual courses, and not necessarily towards the complete degree. The articulation agreement is a god-send to many, helping take the guesswork out of course selection.

So do all your due diligence up front. The last thing you want is to show up at the registrars office and discover that you need to repeat a course you already paid for and successfully completed at community college. Of importance here as well, is to know what grade you need to achieve in respective classes and the cumulative GPA required in order to transfer accordingly. A counselor at a junior college should be able to provide you with this information.

So be clear….The junior college to traditional four year university jump is a popular and affordable option for many, but it needs to be planned appropriately to ensure an efficient transfer of prior credits earned. Don’t let yourself get caught in a dilemma where you wasted a bunch of time, effort and money in junior college, as trying to save the on these is probably why you went to community college in the first place.

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