We know that most students who attend a community college aspire to transfer, but sometimes that process can feel a little overwhelming. When do I apply? What will they need from me? How do I know what happens next?
You don’t have to go at this alone. First, if you haven’t met with your academic advisor yet now is a great time to do so. In addition to meeting with your advisor, here are five tips to make sure you are on track for transfer.
Research application deadlines
When you applied to community college there might not have been an application deadline, which isn’t usually the case for four-year programs. Some schools might have deadlines as early as November, and some as late as July. It’s easy to keep tabs on application deadlines by researching colleges in your RaiseMe account.
Four-year schools want to hear from you, and the earlier the better. We recommend making two appointments, one with admissions, and one with an academic advisor. The admissions office can help you understand what items you need to submit in order to be accepted to the college, and the academic advisor can help you understand which courses will transfer into your program. Being admitted and having your classes transfer are often two different conversations, and it makes everything easier if you start those talks in your first semester.
IMPORTANT not so fun fact: just because you are accepted that *does not* mean your credits will all transfer.
Much more fun fact: Visiting a campus can pay off BIG. Make sure to log your visits into your RaiseMe account because colleges love to see you show interest in their school!
Complete your FAFSA
Make sure to do this ASAP! And, when you are prompted to “enter your school code”, make sure you add the codes of all they schools you might apply to. You can look up school codes here, and you can include up to ten on your FAFSA, so don’t feel like you need to limit yourself. Also, you’ll need to make sure your FAFSA is complete to access your hard earned RaiseMe scholarships. Woo hoo!
Weigh your options
If you are applying to multiple schools compare the financial aid packages, credits accepted, and supports available from all of them before jumping to a decision.
Send your final transcripts
When applying you will most likely send an unofficial transcript with your application, and it’s important to send a *final* transcript once you are done with your classes. You will have to request this from your community college, and they will send it directly to the four year school you are transferring to. Most community colleges have an online request form for transcripts, and there might be a small fee to send it. It’s important this gets sent because your transfer school might not be able to award your financial aid without it!
Lastly, we want to make sure you are earning as many micro-scholarships as possible. Update your RaiseMe portfolio as you go along, and make sure to log any college visits that you are making, because those equal money in your pocket!