Applying to college is an incredibly stressful process, but preparing to transfer from a two-year school to a four-year university can be just as daunting. If you’re currently attending a two-year community college and preparing to make the leap to a four-year school, consider the following tips and tricks to help make this transition as seamless as possible.

1. Start the Transfer Paperwork Early

four year university transfer community college application

It’s important for you to keep track of when you’re going to need to transfer and start preparing as early as possible. According to an article on, deadlines for admission as well as financial aid usually occur in the early spring for students transferring in the fall, and in late fall for students transferring in the spring.
Missing these deadlines could mean disaster for your transfer plans, so know when the deadlines are for your specific university and keep a close eye on the calendar. And remember, the sooner you start, the more wiggle room you allow yourself, should you encounter any hiccups in the process.

2. Ask About Articulation Programs

Because two-year colleges know that a number of their students will eventually transfer, many community colleges have articulation agreements with four-year universities. In short, these agreements ensure that the credits you’ve earned in community college will count towards the general education requirements at the four-year university.

If your community college has an articulation agreement with a four-year college, then your credits are guaranteed to transfer provided you received passing grades in those classes.

3. Know What Transfers

transferring to university tips college advisor

If your current school doesn’t have an articulation agreement with the university you’re transferring to, make sure that you’re choosing courses that are transferable. There are a number of resources that can help you select transferable courses, but the best option is probably to check with advisors at either your community college or the four-year university.

We can’t stress this one enough: don’t just assume that a certain course will transfer. There’s nothing worse than spending an entire semester working hard in a class only to realize that the university you’re transferring to won’t accept the credit.

4. Choose a Major in Advance

If you’re planning to transfer, make sure that you know what you hope to achieve once you reach your new university. A US News & World Report article talks about the importance of choosing a major early. Not only will this help you stay focused once your transfer is complete, but it could save you a huge headache down the line.

Just because you’ve been accepted to the university doesn’t mean that you’ve been accepted to the major that you wish to pursue. Often specific university programs have their own application processes that need to be completed, so make sure that you complete those application materials as well. Otherwise you may have to wait to pursue your academic goals or, worse yet, completely change your course of study.

5. Stay Focused on Your Goal

There is a tendency among graduating high school seniors to slack off once college is in their sights. This same phenomenon can happen to community college students that are on the verge of transferring.

If you’ve done your research and chosen your courses correctly, then the schoolwork you’re doing now will count towards your eventual four-year degree. Even though you’re moving on, don’t forget that your grades are coming with you. Keep working hard, and it will pay off in the end.

Preparing to transfer from a two-year school to a four-year one isn’t easy. Between thinking about the classes you’re taking now, completing the application process, and figuring out what courses you hope to take in the future, there’s a lot to keep in mind. But if you make a plan and take it a step at a time, your transfer should be smooth and simple. For help in getting answers to your transferring questions, we recommend that you reach out to schools to request free information.


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