Prerequisite classes are often taken at a community college to save money – some high school students take classes because the tuition is lower for them, and they can move more quickly through college. Remedial classes might be necessary when English is a second language, or if a student is behind in a subject. Even though some students do all the right things to select a college, the match might not be ideal. Not all majors are offered at every college. Changing majors might require the student to change schools. To save money, some students start at a community college with the plan to transfer to a 4-year school, and others transfer from a private college to a state college or university. Mobile society – some students change colleges because the family moves.
Although there are different types for college transfers, we ’ll focus our attention on the vertical transfer from a community college to a 4-year college. The “swirling transfer” is not recommended. Financial aid becomes complicated.
“ Gen eds” stand for General Education Requirements. Most majors require a selection of English, math, social sciences, etc., but some majors require specific gen ed courses. Semester schools have a fall, spring and summer (optional) classes Trimester schools have a fall, winter and spring (plus summer option) classes Quarter schools have fall, winter, spring and summer classes. Some semester classes are worth 3 credits and some are worth 4 credits.
The colleges compare class syllabuses to determine if the same material is covered. If the classes are different, the credit will not be accepted. This means that transfer students might need to retake what seems to be basic English, history, math, or science classes. Retaking classes means you pay twice for the same basic class – and it will extend the time you ’re in college. This means you’ll spend more on tuition, housing, transportation, etc. Delaying entrance to the workforce means you lost wages while paying tuition (or borrowing more in student loans).
The costs would be lower if you attended a community college for two years, had all your credits transfer, and them completed an additional two years at a 4-year college. Sometimes it ’s hard to get into prerequisite classes at large universities, so taking gen eds at a community college might also help you graduate in 4 years.
If the student does not know their intended major, encourage them to take prescribed classes in the Academic Transfer Program. Planning for advanced degrees is helpful, but not necessary. Ask a lot of questions from both the current college and the transfer college. The student is ultimately responsible for making sure credits transfer.
The admission process for the transfer school is similar to applying for the first college – but college transcripts will be required. Complete the FAFSA every year to plan to attend college. List the transfer college on the FAFSA.
Students might be asked to submit class syllabuses so the transferring college can compare classes. This should ideally occur before the student takes the course though.
There are several academic transfer programs already created to make the transition from a community college to a 4-year college.
Guide to Academic Transfer
Guide to Academic TransferMaking a successful transfer from one college to another
Why students transfer…• Students often transfer to a different college because they: o need prerequisite or remedial classes o move to a different location o find that their current college isn’t a good fit o change their major o are concerned about college costs o want to transition to a 4-year college
Types of college transfers• Vertical transfer o From 2-year college to 4-year college• Horizontal or lateral transfer o From 2-year college to 2-year college o From 4-year college to 4-year college• Reverse transfer o Start at 4-year college, graduate from 2-year college• Swirling transfers o Enrolled in two or more schools simultaneously
Realities of “Gen Eds”• Colleges have different “gen ed” requirements o Each college determines its own standards and expectations for academic rigor o Core classes for a major might not transfer o Some majors might require foreign language, math, or science o Private schools might require religion classes o Credit hours can be different among schools o Semester, quarter or clock hours o 3-hour course vs. 4-hour course
If transfer is unplanned…• Some credits will not transfer• May have to retake classes to meet requirements• Cost of your education may increase• May spend more years in college• Entrance into workforce may be delayed
If transfer is planned…• Transition to 4-year college will go smoothly• All credits will transfer• Cost of education may be lower o credit hour cost at community college is lower than 4-year college• You’ll complete a bachelor’s degree in a timely manner
College transfer process while attending your first college• Determine your aspirations and goals Step o o Consider major or area of study Plan for bachelor’s or master’s degree 1• Seek excellent academic advising o Confirm that all classes will transfer o Determine maximum transfer credit hours o Discuss GPA requirements at the next school o Utilize “transfer guides” found on college websites
College transfer process while attending your first college• Apply for admission to transfer college Step o o Provide college and high school transcripts Pay application fee 2• Apply for financial aid o Complete the FAFSA o Inquire about scholarships for transfer students o Be aware that you can only receive financial aid from one school at a time
College transfer process for the “receiving” college• The receiving college will review your transcripts• Classes must match in: Step o academic rigor 3 o course content o requirements for the program of study o sequence of courses – in correct order
Academic Transfer Programs• Nebraska Transfer Initiative• Articulation Agreements• NU Academic Transfer Program• Common Core Curriculum
Nebraska Transfer Initiative• College classes are pre-approved o Comparable in scope, quality and rigor o Fulfills “Gen Eds” for the receiving college• Students earn Associate of Arts degree and work toward Bachelor’s degree• Students given Junior status at the 4-year institution
Articulation Agreement• Contract between two colleges o Stipulates classes that transfer and total number of credits• Must complete classes within time allowed
NU Academic Transfer Program• If you complete associate degree program from any Nebraska community college, you are guaranteed admission to UNL, UNO or UNK• You will be considered for transfer student scholarships• Similar program exists for the Nebraska state college system
Common Core Curriculum• Good way for “undecided” students to begin their undergraduate experience o Includes 34 semester hours of classes that will transfer