With the price of college continuously rising, a popular thing for students to do is to go to a community college. Some students will go for two years at a community college then transfer to a university.
There are many different reasons why students would want to do this. The most common reason is money. By not going to a 4-year university for the first one to two years, you are saving a tremendous amount of money on tuition.
Tuition is extremely more expensive at 4-year private and public universities than it is at a community college. Plus, normally when you go to a community college you tend to stay at home with your parents which saves a lot of money on room and board.
This new trend that is happening, there are a lot of questions about attending a community college.
I am going to walk you through some of the basics of what you should do if you’re planning on going to a community college and then transferring to a 4-year university.
When you Transfer from a Community College to a University, Does your GPA Start Over?
A common misconception that a lot of students have is that whatever college classes they take elsewhere is going to transfer to their choice of University. Most universities will not transfer your GPA over from any sort of college classes taken in high school or any classes taken at other colleges or universities in general.
What this means, is that if you started at a community college, then your college GPA is not going to transfer. You are going to start with a brand-new GPA that only refers to the classes taken at this university.
Most of your classes should transfer credit-wise, but the GPA will not transfer.
If you are worried about if your classes are going to transfer based on your major then you can use the website Transferology to check. All that you have to do is go to this website and type in which college you were attending, what classes you have taken, and what college you are hoping to transfer these credits to. It will tell you how the college will transfer your credits. It is not always 100% accurate, but it has always worked for me and my friends.
Why Does my GPA Matter at Community College?
I know that I just reiterated that your college GPA does not transfer from different colleges and universities. However, it is important to realize that your GPA at the community college is what’s going to get you into the university that you want to go to. Even though this GPA will not transfer to the university, it is the main thing that they are going to be looking at when wanting to accept you.
Once you are a college student the focus is not on your ACT score or high school GPA. The university you want to transfer to will focus on what you did and the impact that you made at your community college. Therefore, you still have to focus on your studies during the time at the community college.
How Many Credits Do You Need to Transfer from a Community College to a University?
This type of situation is going to differ depending on what university you choose. It is always important to talk to the counselors and advisors at the current community college you are attending and the university that you want to go to find the answers.
You can also find the answers online when you look under the transfer section of the university’s website. You can check out The Ohio State University transfer page to see how they set up transfers.
Typically, universities accept transfer students after one or two semesters of college. For me, the university that I attend only allows you to transfer after two full semesters at another college or university.
They usually qualify a typical semester as 15 credit hours so this would mean that you would need 30 credit hours to transfer to this university. This is the most common type of situation, however, many schools do you allow you to transfer after one semester. Either way, your best bet is to take at least 15 credit hours every semester.
What are the Main Differences Between a 4-Year and 2-Year College?
The main differences between a two year and four-year college are the course load, the opportunities, and the price. Typically, universities are known for having harder academics.
Many students going to a 4-year university will take classes at a 2-year college or community college over the summer to be able to save money and pass hard classes.
This does not mean that 2-year colleges or community colleges do not offer great academics, it simply means that the academics and the course load for a 4-year university tend to be harder.
I took an anatomy and physiology class at a community college because it was easier the taking the class at OSU’s main campus. The credit for the class would transfer so why not go to take it where it was easier and cheaper.
The second thing is the opportunities. A 4-year college tends to have a lot more career fairs, internship opportunities, and recruiting opportunities. This is not something that you need in your college career, it is simply something that will help you land the career of your choice.
The third thing is money. Money is always going to be a bigger problem at a university because they tend to be a lot more expensive. When it comes down to it you need to find a school that aligns with your values and what you were looking for in a college career. This is only a decision that you alone can make.
You can also read the pros and cons of community college.
Is Transferring from a Community College Hard?
Transferring from a community college to a bigger university is going to be a different experience for every person. It may be hard at first to deal with the different locations and setting that you were in.
Moving can also be a big transition for you if it is the first time that you were living on your own. The main difference that you were going to have is the amount of work that you’re going to have to put in.
Normally for your universities have a lot more homework and time dedicated education, so this might be a big transition for you. However, if you have always put a lot of time and dedication into your studies then you should have no problem. Either way, it should be a new exciting experience that you can tackle.
Do High School Grades Matter for Transfer Students?
Normally high school grades are not a priority when transferring colleges. The main priority is going to be your college GPA and other things that you were involved with during your first semester or two at college.
They may glance at your high school grades and GPA, so it is important to do your research and look at what specific universities look at high school GPA and ACT scores.
The only time that you should have a problem is if your high school GPA was abnormally low.
Do Transfer Students Need to Take SAT or ACT?
As I said earlier, high school GPA and test scores are usually not a top priority for a 4-year college when looking at transfers. However, most students who are admitted to 4-year colleges were required to take the ACT or the SAT. Because of this, you may be required to have a score. Even if they are not focused on how high it was, you may be required to have it.
This is something that you need to research beforehand or talk to the advisors at this new university.
Is it Easier to Get into College as a Transfer Student?
There is normally a bigger number of incoming freshmen applying to universities than transfers. They only accept a certain number of incoming freshmen and they only accept a certain amount of transfers.
Since the number of transfers is usually lower, it is a little bit easier to get into a 4-year university as a transfer.
You also have a chance to get your college GPA up while at a community college. If you do not think that your high school GPA and scores were high enough to get into the college you were targeting. You focus on your studies during your first year of community college to increase your GPA to transfer.
The requirements for transfer students tend to be a lot lower than the requirements of incoming freshmen. This also gives you a little bit more space and leeway for mistakes.
How Do you Successfully Transfer Colleges
Every person is going to have a different experience and they are transferring colleges. The best thing that you can do is go in with an open mind. This is a new exciting experience that is going to open many doors for you.
However, the first thing that you can do to ensure the most success, is to work very hard at the community college. Maybe think about taking as many credit hours as you can handle and trying to get involved in extracurriculars.
You can also try to get involved in your community and have a job so you can put that on your resume when you apply to the university. Once you get there, the best thing that you can do is join as many clubs and get as involved as much as possible. You should meet new people and get the best experience out of life.
Overall it is honestly a great idea to go to community college before going to a bigger university. It saves you a lot of time and money and helps you work on your studying skills for college. If you are someone who did not do as well as you would have liked to in college, this is the best way for you to get to your top university.