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What It's Like Transferring From Junior College to University

Going from community college to a four-year university is a big step, and you may be a bit unsure about the experience. Read on for a look at how it all happens!

Transferring to a four-year university is a big deal and requires some planning. When I started community college, my main goal was to earn my Associate of Arts and transfer to a four-year university. However, I had no idea how many steps there were to the process. But for any student who may be unsure about transferring, I think going through the process is worth it.

First steps

The first thing I did was meet with an advisor at my college, and I found out each university has a transfer guide sheet. These guides list what course equivalents transfer to the university and how many hours of each subject are required. My advisor and transfer guide sheet helped me plan which courses I needed to take each semester. At first, I was only following the transfer requirements for my top college choice. I soon realized it doesn’t hurt to check out the requirements for other universities too. You may find they have different requirements for the same program. For example, my major in Journalism had different requirements at different universities.

Related: Financial Aid Strategies for Transfer Students

Where to transfer?

After figuring out what courses to take, the next question was which four-year college or university would I choose to attend? Would I stay in state or go out of state? Asking myself these questions helped me narrow down my list of four-year colleges and universities, and I decided I wanted to stay in state, closer to home. My college list started at five, but I narrowed it down to three top choices. Being a Journalism student, I also discovered that finding a university in state that offers my program of study was challenging. That’s where college visits were helpful; I was able to visit the Journalism departments at a few universities and gain enough information to compare programs and decide which one was my best fit.

Research your options

Looking at class sizes and student life activities also helped influence my decisions. This gave me a better idea of what to expect as a student when making my transition to the university. Seeing different campuses gave me a better idea of dorms, student life, and various other aspects of the undergrad experience too. Some universities have smaller student environments and class sizes than others.  But I found I enjoyed the larger environments because I want more opportunities to meet and connect with others. In addition to college visits and getting a feel for each campus, I had to consider admission applications and available scholarships to further narrow down my choices.

The admission process

A lot of things go into transfer admission applications such as essays, lists of your accomplishments, organization and club involvement, and volunteering. Some college applications are more detailed than others, so I found it helpful to have someone look over each of my applications before submitting. Some of my prospective transfer schools offered me scholarships for my grades or involvement at my current school, but I gave my top schools the most consideration.

Related: One College to Another: The Ultimate Transfer Guide

I ultimately decided on the University of North Texas, Denton. It has my program of study and isn’t too far from home, plus I like the campus. When I was accepted, I applied for transfer orientation; after attending, I knew it was the right university for me. From there, my next steps were just sending my final transcripts, applying for classes, and frequently checking my financial aid and student email for updates. My family, friends, and mentors provided support and insight as I prepared to transfer, and they gave me tips and reminders for things to keep in mind, such as keeping myself safe on campus. They were a major push in helping me keep up with all the transfer deadlines. Overall, I had a positive experience transferring to a four-year university. Now I’m ready to start my new journey as a transfer student!

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About Raven J.

Raven J.

Raven is a student at Mountain View College in Dallas, Texas, and will graduate with her associate degree before transferring to a four-year college in fall 2019. She enjoys exploring, listening to podcasts, art, and caring for her cat, Nugget. She is also super involved in campus activities such as Phi Theta Kappa.


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