How to Transfer Out of Community College in One Year

Some individuals may know upon enrollment in a community college that they only plan to attend for one year before they seek to transfer, while other students may make that decision during the school year. Either way, you can meet your goal of transferring to a four-year college or university after one year of community college. Read on to learn about the steps you need to take in order to do so.

Step One: Meet With Your Academic Advisor and Transfer Admissions Officer

Many community colleges provide developmental academic advising for their students. These trained professionals will work closely with you. They can help you choose the best courses and make a plan to transfer after one year of study. Be sure to set an appointment to meet with your advisor early in the transfer process.

In addition, many universities will have designated admissions officers to help transfer students apply. Be sure to contact these individuals to be sure you're taking the right steps to get you to your transfer goal.

Step Two: Choose Core Courses

If you know from the beginning of your community college career that you'll plan to transfer after one year, it's imperative to choose courses that will transfer into the university you wish to attend. Often, the best courses to choose are core distribution requirements. At most universities, these will include courses such as English composition, college-level mathematics, and introductory lab science courses. Selecting these frequently-required courses will ensure that you have time to focus on major requirements when you transfer.

Step Three: Do Well in Your Community College Courses

Applying to transfer can be competitive. It's important to do well in the classes that you take in community college. Often, the grades that you earn will be one of the most important factors in considering your transfer application. Those with good grades may also qualify for merit scholarships during the admissions process!

Step Four: Retake the SAT or ACT

If you haven't earned an associate's degree, the college or university to which you are applying may want to see the results of standardized tests, such as the SAT or ACT. If you weren't happy with your results on the test in high school, now is the time to retake the examination. You can use these engaging SAT and ACT study guides and practice exams found on to help you get ready to retake the test. Some colleges may waive these standardized test scores for those over a certain age.

Step Five: Submit Transfer Applications

An important step will be submitting the transfer application for the university to which you want to transfer. You might submit a university-specific application, or utilize the common application. Applicants often expect to provide the following components to your application:

  • Online application
  • High school and community college transcripts
  • A personal statement
  • Letter(s) of recommendation

Be sure to be aware of transfer deadlines. They are often different from the deadlines for new applicants. It's essential to have your application in on-time.

Other Transfer Options

For some students, it may be best to complete an associate's degree before seeking admission to a four-year college or university. Some states offer programs where students who have earned the two-year degree are guaranteed admission to certain colleges within the state. If part of the reason you chose to attend a community college was to save money, you would continue to do so if you attend through the completion of your associate's degree. Whether you choose to transfer after one or two years, attending community college can be a great start to earning your bachelor's degree.

Students interested in learning about the concept of credit hours can read this article, which provides information about what college credit hours are, how they are earned, and a few different types of credit hours.

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