Benefits of Transferring to a Four-Year School

The benefits of transferring are numerous. Here's what students from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, have to say about their transition to a four-year university.

The benefits of transferring are numerous. Here's what students from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, have to say about their transition to a four-year university.

Jessica Lautmann transferred to Marquette University as a junior. She is now a senior majoring in biomedical sciences and an advocate of the transfer process. “I love this campus because of its amazing sense of community that you can really feel, from a stranger holding a door to a professor taking the time to learning students' names,” she says. “This was a perfect fit for me!”

Transferring to a four-year college or university can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be an impossible task. Collaboration between two-year and four-year institutions to enhance and ease the transfer transition has exploded on a national and international level. Four-year colleges and universities greatly recognize the gifts that students transferring to their institutions from two-year colleges bring to their campus communities. The recruitment of transfer students now rivals recruitment efforts offered to the traditional freshman population. The wealth of opportunities available to students enrolled at community colleges is staggering—high-tech academic facilities, counseling and guidance support services, campus activities, honor societies—and it helps open the doors for a smooth transition to a four-year institution.

So now that you know the transfer process isn’t as scary as you might believe, why shouldn’t you take the plunge?

It’s academic

Four-year colleges and universities help you continue on the path of academic and career success. As you seamlessly move from your two-year experience, you will find the academic opportunities get broader. “Within my major, I have professors who share a variety of diverse viewpoints that help us develop our own perspectives within my chosen field,” says Erin Shwango, a junior studying political science. When you enter your late sophomore/early junior year, you will be ready and prepared to select your academic major. This allows for deeper involvement with your faculty as you engage in discussion of your chosen field of study, group projects, presentations, and research opportunities.

Academic facilities at four-year colleges and universities offer outstanding resources. You can expect great libraries, research laboratories, writing and language learning centers, simulation labs, media and production studios, performing arts centers, campus art museums, patient observation centers, and health clinics. Your engagement with these facilities will promote a love for lifelong learning.

Making your own mark

As seasoned college students, four-year colleges and universities look forward to your contributions to their campus. Also, a welcoming community of widely diverse students awaits your arrival, so you don’t have to worry about not fitting in. It’s easy to start meeting new people just by joining student clubs. You can expand upon your previous campus involvement and continue the development of important leadership skills in organizations that range in type: academic, spiritual/religious, media, government, pre-professional, multicultural, and Greek life. Service-based organizations allow you to connect your new campus to the greater needs of the surrounding community. And don’t forget about athletics! Four-year campuses abound with school spirit as you get involved in intramural, club, and intercollegiate sports—or if you’re just a great fan. Or perhaps you bring a unique interest with you? It’s easy to start your own organization!

Stephanie Stopka is a senior who serves as Vice President of the University’s student government association and majors in political science. Her involvement with campus activities has been a great learning experience for her. “Over the last year, I have been able to take on active leadership roles within social clubs as well as academic organizations,” she shares. “I have learned more about myself as a leader and the type of leader I want to become as an adult.”

You can take your academic experience to another place; the opportunity to explore and experience other cultures is abundant at four-year colleges and universities. Attending a study abroad program—for a summer or semester—will enhance your academic studies, language development, independence, and stretch your mind just by hanging out with your new neighbors. The world is your playground.

Cassey Milroy, a senior, shares, “I studied this past spring semester in Madrid, Spain, which was great because as a Spanish major, I was able to immerse myself in the language and culture. In fact, I lived with a Spanish family. It was a huge growing experience, as I was put in a completely foreign environment and learned how to navigate my way around the country and continent, greatly increasing my self-reliance and confidence to handle the unknown. I want to go back!”

Probably the most unique aspect of the four-year campus is the opportunity to live with your peers. Four-year colleges and universities offer a wide selection of on- and off-campus living options. Residential life develops relationship-building skills and provides a better sense of the campus community. “Living with others helps you to better understand how to communicate more efficiently,” says Katie Simoncic, a sophomore majoring in communication studies. “In a residence hall you are immersed with so many other people that you learn how to adapt and grow by recognizing what each person brings to the table. It is not always easy, but it is really fun.”

Career preparation

Defining your career path after college can be overwhelming. You have started the path already, and advisors and counselors at four-year colleges and universities will help you continue on the wide road of your own personal discovery. The four-year degree is your starting point for professional school, graduate school, and the world of work. People are proud of their alma maters—and alumni connections and networking through the campus career services office or academic departments will be invaluable to you when you start your career. You will be connected with a wealth of opportunities.

Four-year schools tend to have larger career centers with several prospects for students. Many people now graduate with one, if not several, internship experiences, which allow you to connect your academic experiences to the world of work, provide exposure to various career fields, observe the professional environment, discern your career path, and network with professionals in that field. “My internship has helped me apply what I have learned in the classroom to a real-life work setting,” says Tom Klind, a senior majoring in public relations and theology. “It is fulfilling to see my daily work at my internship actually show up in the company’s publications. I am definitely benefiting from the professional networking with employees and their clients.”

It’s in your court

As you explore all of the options ahead of you to complete your four-year degree and find your perfect fit, Jessica provides the following tips to transfer students: “As a transfer, I would recommend getting involved right away and don't be afraid to introduce yourself to people and ask questions—they will be more welcoming than you think. Transferring to a new school can have its challenges but for me it was absolutely worth it!”

Like what you’re reading?

Join the CollegeXpress community! Create a free account and we’ll notify you about new articles, scholarship deadlines, and more.

Join Now

Join our community of
over 5 million students!

CollegeXpress has everything you need to simplify your college search, get connected to schools, and find your perfect fit.

Join CollegeXpress
Emilie Delgado

Emilie Delgado

$2,000 Community Service Scholarship Winner, 2013

CollegeXpress has tremendously helped me in my search for financial aid opportunities as I enter my college career. It is easy to navigate and quickly narrowed down scholarships that I could apply for. Being awarded the scholarship will greatly help me in my finances regarding books and tuition. Thank you for this opportunity. Without CollegeXpress, it would have been more difficult to apply. I would recommend this site to everyone!

Maurice Whan

Maurice Whan

$2,000 Spring Scholarship Contest Winner, 2021

This year has been tough for my family and myself, so receiving this scholarship has been a blessing in disguise! CollegeXpress has been an excellent resource in helping me prepare financially for college. Thank you again for this amazing opportunity!

Nazira Abdelkhalek

Nazira Abdelkhalek

$2,000 Community Service Scholarship Winner, 2014

I am very honored to be this year’s recipient of the Multicultural Student Community Service Scholarship! This scholarship is vital to helping me achieve and fulfill my dreams, and gives me confidence and motivation as I begin my college career. The CollegeXpress website has been invaluable over the past year as I planned my educational and professional goals. I highly recommend it to all students as they begin to focus on their college and career interests. The website is a wonderful guide to schools and scholarships.

Alexandra Adriano

Alexandra Adriano

$2,000 Community Service Scholarship Winner, 2016

I've used CollegeXpress quite a bit as a senior, particularly for colleges and scholarships, so it's been a very big asset in that respect! I would recommend it to anyone looking to pursue a college education, especially seniors! This scholarship will help me achieve my goals in ways I couldn't have before, and I know that there are opportunities like that for everyone on the website and in the magazines!

Sonny Harris

Sonny Harris

College Student

For the entire year before college, I spent a lot of time deeply considering what major I wanted to go into and how to fund my higher education. After a lot of research, I came across CollegeXpress, which helped me ultimately find a ton of scholarships for which I could apply—and some of which I received! If it weren’t for CollegeXpress, I may not have found those scholarships as they didn't appear on any other scholarship search forum. Additionally, I learned more about the options I had been considering for my major through CollegeXpress’s resources. In the end, I chose to major in Computer Science, as it seemed best suited to me and the careers in the field seemed enjoyable, and I've never been more excited to move into my future! Ultimately, I want to thank CollegeXpress for offering their services. I received enough financial aid in scholarships to fund my entire freshman year of college and even got some money refunded which I used to purchase a new laptop, and I bought all of the books I needed for the semester!

College Matches

Colleges You May Be Interested In

Stevenson University

Stevenson, MD

Santa Clara University

Santa Clara, CA

Hofstra University

Hempstead, NY