How to transfer from community college to university

One in five students transfer from community college to university each year, with 60% of those students earning a bachelor’s degree.

Students looking for information on how the community college transfer to university process works should start by working with an academic advisor. Academic advisors are one of the best resources that schools have available for students, especially in the transfer process.

In fact, they can give you details on any articulation, or transfer, agreements the school may have with other colleges and universities.

What is an articulation agreement? 

Articulation agreements, commonly known as transfer agreements, are formal agreements between two or more institutions outlining what courses and how many credits each school will accept from each other. 

How community college transfer to university agreements work

Before we get too deep into the transfer agreements, let’s get started with a step by step breakdown of the community college transfer to university process:

  • Create a list of schools of interest that you want to transfer to.
  • Schedule time with an academic advisor to review your transcript and see what schools of interest may have current transfer agreements with your current school.
  • Contact the academic office and/or advisor of the school you wish to transfer to and see if there are any additional steps such as entrance exams that you might need to take to complete your transfer.
  • Send over your transcript to your transfer school and ensure all classes outlined in the transfer agreement will be accepted. If the school does not have a transfer agreement, then identify what classes they will take as transferred and what classes you may need to retake (if any). If there are classes not accepted, see if they offer exams that would allow you to test out of the class for a small fee and give you credit for completion.
  • Complete all the transfer requirements: Examinations, Admissions Applications/Essay, Submission of High School, and College Transcripts.
  • Make sure you file your FAFSA® or submit any Financial Aid documentation requested by your new school. Most universities cost more than community college, so you must understand your financial needs to meet the tuition cost requirements.
  • Confirm acceptance via an acceptance letter. Once you are accepted, it’s time to enroll in classes and begin your next semester at your new school.

The most important resource during the transfer process is going to be your school’s academic advisor. Make sure you are working closely with them throughout the process to make sure all of your documents are complete and submit everything on time.

Keep in contact with your transfer school — make sure they receive your documents and promptly process your transfer request to meet registration deadlines.

It might sound like a lot, but with an academic advisor’s help, the process will go smoothly without worry.