What You Need to Know Before Transferring to a Four-Year University
Written by The LCU Blogging Team on Tuesday, December 26th, 2017 in Transfer
Millions of students each year begin their college career by attending a community college. And in a few semesters, several of those students will transfer to attend four-year universities such as LCU.
For a variety of reasons, we have the largest number of students transfer to LCU right after Christmas break. If you’re one of those students – or someone who plans to attend a four-year university after your community college career is over – here are some facts, tips, and suggestions to help make your transition easier.
1. Plan ahead
The sooner you begin to prepare for your transfer, the better. With that, the more information you have, the easier it will be to make a decision. Take time to visit the colleges that interest you, gather transfer materials, and check to see if there are transfer agreements for your specific degree program between your community college and where you’d like to attend. These steps will help you feel prepared to transfer to a four-year university.
2. You may qualify for merit aid
Over 80 percent of small colleges (those which have less than 3,000 students) offer merit scholarships to transfer students. Transferring to a university like LCU may mean you’re eligible for specific transfer scholarships such as those offered to graduates of South Plains College.
3. Understand what the transfer process entails
Many transfer programs are geared toward students who complete two years at a community college, where you’ll build your course credits in general curriculum classes such as English, Math, and History. You may also take electives that fulfill university requirements and that may pertain to your major or focus. From there, you should take classes related to the major you’ll choose at your four-year university. Your primary goals are to exhibit academic prowess in your major while ensuring that you can transfer the maximum amount of credits.
4. Know what transfers
Make sure that you’re taking classes at your community college that will transfer to the university of your choice. There are a variety of online tools to help you choose wisely, and you should always get to know your academic advisor.
5. Attend orientations & get to know your advisor
While it’s true that you’re different from a high school senior in that you’ve already had a taste of the college experience, it’s still important to take advantage of orientation opportunities that universities offer for transfer students. Connect with your university’s transfer advisor to find the best ways to join this new community and take advantage of the endless opportunities on campus.
6. Be positive
Don’t focus on the negative components of your current school when explaining your desire to transfer. Instead, look to the future and remember the positive reasons for the change. Remind yourself, and others, of the benefits of transferring to a particular school and how you can succeed there.
7. Choose a major
By choosing your major early on as a community college student, you’ll ensure that you’re taking the prerequisites you’ll need for that program at the university of your choice. In turn, it will save you time and money in the long run.
8. Shop around
Make sure that you examine all of the options available to you during the process of selecting your four-year school. Gather information on public and private four-year institutions and calculate the costs and the benefits until you find the ideal university for you.
9. Understand your financial aid options
If you haven’t already, fill out the FAFSA and check with the university about scholarships they have set aside for transfer students. Moreover, make sure that you’ve met all of the deadlines for financial aid so that you don’t miss out on assistance that’s available to you.
As you explore your options as a transfer student, we recommend checking out our Transfer Application Checklist to help you simplify the transfer application process.