2. Check transfer policies. Call the admission offices of the community college and the university. Ask whether the university has a transfer agreement with your community college (also called an articulation agreement).
Pro tip: University of Phoenix offers a 3+1 Transfer Pathway, which allows students who enter an eligible degree program to transfer in 87 credits. This means such students can complete a bachelor’s degree in as little as 14 months.
3. Review the cost. Just because a university will be more expensive doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to save money. Some universities offer transfer scholarships specifically designed for students making the leap. University of Phoenix even offers a special tuition rate to students with an associate degree.
4. Understand entrance requirements. Some universities require essays or entrance exams while others don’t. And while you’re looking at entrance criteria, brush up on academic placement tests for community college too! You might think if you place lower, classes will be easier — but remedial classes may end up offering no credit. Aim high. You may save yourself a higher-tuition headache later.
5. Talk to real people. So much great information is available online, but there’s no substitute for having real people answer your questions. If your community college has a transfer counselor, tap their expertise! If you have a university in mind, call its enrollment or admissions department to make sure you’re on the right track.
6. Take an academic success class. A community college can be a great place to learn the skills you’ll need to succeed at a university. Many colleges have courses that review good study habits, time-management skills and career-planning tips.
7. Choose a field of study. This one’s tricky, especially if one of your reasons for starting out at a community college was because you hadn’t settled on a career path. Your best option? Explore different areas of interest but keep in contact with your academic advisor to take prerequisites early. If you take too many general education classes, they may not all transfer.
Pro tip: University of Phoenix offers a career-interest assessment to help prospective students fine-tune their goals.
8. Get documents together. Official course transcripts and other types of documents, such as essays or letters of recommendation, may be required for university admission. As with other steps in the transfer process, be meticulous about collecting required documents and meeting deadlines.
9. Apply! Those two years of community college study will go faster than you think! Check university application deadlines and apply as soon as you’re eligible.
10. Attend orientation. It can feel like a big leap to move from a community college to a university. Attending your new school’s orientation can help you meet other students, as well as learn about your school’s resources. They may offer math tutoring, counseling services or career support at no extra cost to you.