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Transfer Survival Checklist For Community College Students

In recognition of National Transfer Student Week, we’ve compiled a few tips to set you up for maximum success in transferring to your dream four-year college.

We know that planning for transfer after completing your two-year degree can feel like a lot. From mapping out which courses to take, to exploring schools, and researching your scholarship options, students have a lot on their plate when thinking about their future academic goals. With help from your academic advisor and RaiseMe for Community College Students, you can can create a pathway to success that allows you to earn micro-scholarships along the way.

National Transfer Student Week (Oct. 15-19) is a great time to start thinking about how to prepare for transfer admissions applications, and completing your FAFSA. Take a minute to look over our Transfer Survival checklist to start your transfer process strong.

Just starting your associate’s degree? It’s never too early to think about how to plan for transferring. October is a great time to:

  • Make a mid semester appointment with the transfer office at your college to start talking about your options. Researching transfer pathways early will allow you to take the classes you need to stay on track.
  • Prepare materials you might need for an admissions application, such as transcript requests or letters of recommendations. Your RaiseMe Portfolio is an easy way to keep tabs on all of your achievements so you don’t miss anything when listing accomplishments on your admissions application(s), plus you’ll be able to see the micro-scholarships that colleges are willing to award for those achievements.
  • Research what four-year institutions expect from successful applicants so you set yourself up for success, and know what you’re expected to accomplish! RaiseMe can help you learn about admissions and scholarship requirements.

Thinking about graduation this year? That’s great news! Here are five tips to keep you transfer-bound:

Know your admissions deadlines for transfer

Research admissions deadlines for transfer institutions. Some schools require applications as early as November for the fall semester, and some some colleges will allow you to start in the spring. Don’t risk putting your education on pause due to a missed application.

Make a transfer financial plan

RaiseMe National Transfer Student Week

Visit RaiseMe to access information on transfer scholarships so you can see your hard work pay off, literally. Good grades, volunteer work, and even working outside of school can help you accumulate micro-scholarships from four-year colleges that will help you tackle the cost of your education.

Keep your classes on track to transfer

RaiseMe National Transfer Student Week

Meet with your academic advisor to plan out the rest of the year and help you stay on track. Creating a plan early on will reduce your risk of completing excess credits, and will let you finish on time. Check to see if the colleges you are considering have a degree plan available on RaiseMe, which can help you understand which community college courses will transfer over to count towards your bachelor’s degree completion .

Explore best-fit colleges for you

RaiseMe National Transfer Student Week

Use RaiseMe to explore nearby transfer institutions that fit your unique goals. From learning about programs, location, and cost, to popular majors, student life, and other details, RaiseMe has you covered. 

Don’t forget your FAFSA

Complete your FAFSA using the school code(s) for the school(s) that you plan to apply to. Even if you think you might not qualify for need-based aid, some institutions might require a FAFSA to be eligible for scholarships. Get started for free at fafsa.ed.gov.

We know that despite the fact that 80% of community college students aspire to transfer only about 16% do. With resources like your community college’s transfer center, your transfer advisor, and RaiseMe, however, you can empower yourself with the tools necessary to apply for transfer, and pathways to scholarship funds that will help you reach your academic goals. 

Create a RaiseMe profile for free, and share us with your friends as part of #NationalTransferStudentWeek.

Community college advisors: Looking for resources to share with students on your campus to help them on their transfer path? Check out these resources: 

Collateral for Educators (click on the links below to download):

RaiseMe Transfer Poster

5 Steps to get started

Transfer overview

Tara Zirkel, Ed.D, is Senior Manager for Community College Partnerships Manager for RaiseMe. Tara has over a decade of student affairs experience in community college settings, including as the Dean of Distance Education and Education Centers at Westmoreland County Community College and as the Director of Admissions, Interim Dean of Students, Adjunct Faculty, and Interim Associate Academic Dean at the Community College of Allegheny County. She holds a doctorate of education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where she researched enrollment habits of community college students.

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