Campus is the new alternative to online community college that provides a 100% live and online Associate of Arts in Business Administration degree program. We’re on a mission to maximize access to a world-class education, starting with our career-focused business program that equips students from across the U.S. with a solid foundation in core business principles to set them up for success no matter what their next step is.
According to research, around 4.7 million students in the U.S. enrolled in a community college in 2020.
Low tuition and flexible course schedules drive 49.2% of postsecondary students to choose community colleges over traditional four-year institutions.
Now, what will happen if these students transfer to four-year institutions from community colleges?
Ultimately, earning a four-year degree can lead to a brighter future that leaves students less susceptible to job market jolts.
By planning their transfer ahead of time, students can smoothly switch to a four-year program after one year of community college.
This article will help students like you explore why students transfer from community college and how they may go about it. Let’s dive in.
Why Do Students Consider Transferring After Community College?
80% of the students who enroll in a community college intend to attend a university for higher education later on.
Here are some popular reasons why students may choose to transfer to a four-year school:
Greater Academic Value
With a community college, students gain insights into their desired careers. However, to gain well-rounded skills that impress employers, a four-year degree can help.
General education courses are the first stage in every college career. Whether you attend a university or a community college for your first two years of study, you will likely be required to take a combination of prerequisite courses, such as science, mathematics, English, and communication.
As the cost of community colleges is lower, students can save thousands of dollars before they enter a four-year school by taking courses at a two-year school first.
Better Networking Opportunities
In the current job market, networking is necessary to achieve success. Traditional four-year institutions offer job fairs, mentoring, and other resources for networking at a typically larger scale than community colleges. Therefore, they can be a great place to continue pursuing your education.
Due to sprawling campuses and diverse cultures, larger-scale institutions can often seem overwhelming to students.
One of the benefits of community colleges is that it serves as a stepping stone for students to adjust to different cultures. The one-on-one interactions in the close-knit communities help improve their social abilities and acclimate to a college schedule before moving to a larger setting.
Higher Financial Value
With a specialized degree in a certain field, students find roles that provide higher job satisfaction. Most students who have degrees enjoy a high return on their investment.
Bachelor's degree holders in the U.S. make a median yearly salary of $69,368 based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That is much more than those with an associate degree ($50,076), which is much more than those with a high school diploma ($42,068).
How Easy Is It to Transfer?
As long as you have been a dedicated student in community college and have done your due diligence when it comes to planning your journey from community college to a university, you can ensure that you’ll be able to enroll in a quality bachelor’s degree program.
So, if you are thinking, “Should I go to community college first and then transfer?” apply to your schools of interest after carefully researching based on your region, your community college, and your intended colleges.
Transferring from a community college entails thorough research and a good academic record.
First, make sure the school where you'll be attending classes is an ideal fit for you, both academically and socially.
Most credits don’t expire. That means you may still be able to transfer credits from a community college program, even if you finished many years ago.
However, the school you intend to transfer to is ultimately the one deciding whether or not they’ll take your credits. Institutions have different criteria for determining credit transfer, so be sure to request credit transfer guidelines from any school you’re considering.
Additionally, there may be required documents to apply to a four-year college (and transfer after attending community college) including
- An essay
- Transcripts from high school or a community college
- Letters of recommendation
- Test scores
Articulation agreements, a formal relationship between community colleges and universities to facilitate the transfer process, in many cases, guarantee community college students entrance to specific institutions.
In other cases, some articulation agreements only address course equivalents to guarantee the transferability of students' credits.
Community colleges have different application deadlines, so be sure to ask about any deadlines at least a few weeks before courses begin.
Some colleges have requirements for how long a student must be enrolled in a college before they may be considered a transfer student.
Admissions counselors and academic advisors can give useful tips to maximize transfer credit.
It's also possible that credits earned at two-year institutions won't transfer at all. For example, if you attend an unaccredited two-year institution or if you take continuing education (non-credit) courses, you may find that four-year institutions are unable to accept some of your classes.
Lack of assistance is another issue that looms large in the students' minds. Numerous two-year school students need help figuring out their personal transfer processes.
Students should have a mentor at the institute to turn to for guidance on
- Credit transfer
- Which schools can they transfer to
- How to start the credit transfer process on their own
For a more thorough guide on transferring from community college to a university or college, read Campus’s “Should I Go to Community College First Then Transfer?”
Considering Community College?
Students can successfully transfer after one year of community college. For that, they need a solid grasp of the transfer process, including knowing which four-year school they want to enroll in, understanding credit hour transfer, and researching financial aid options that can support their transitions.
It can be a difficult process, but if you take a proactive approach, you can eliminate some common challenges.
If you’re considering an online community college program, Campus is an accredited online alternative to community college that offers an online associate degree in business program for students who may want to launch their business career or business education with a two-year degree.
Request more info today if you’d like to learn more.