Like any student, you have many important questions that need to be answered before you apply to a four-year school, such as: time to complete your bachelor’s degree, the number of credits that will transfer, and the cost of attending the college. You also want to make sure that your transfer destination will fit your lifestyle and overall career goals.
To help your decision making process, here are five quick tips for how to best prep for transferring from a two year school to a four year school.
- Ask for advice – If you haven’t done so already, seek out your advisors, professors, faculty members, and professionals in your desired field of study. Ask questions about their education and professional life, so you can understand what a career might be like. Reach out to family and friends to ask if they know of contacts who may be of help. Don’t be afraid to contact someone you don’t know. Many people love to give advice and answer questions about themselves!
- Start your research early – Do you have any dream schools that you want to attend? Be sure to look at the school’s overall requirements AND those of a specific academic program. Specific programs, such as business, engineering or sciences, may have higher GPA requirements than the overall school. Advance research within specific majors at a potential transfer school can help focus your coursework and provide motivation to earn good grades. Look at tuition and fees, net price calculators, scholarship opportunities, and financial aid to assess the overall cost.
- Connect with potential transfer schools early on – Go to their website, social media accounts, join their email / mailing list, contact admissions, and even schedule a campus visit.
According to Jonathan Feld, Director at Milwaukee Area Technical College, “It’s ideal for students to connect with four-year schools as early as possible, so they know in advance what’s needed.”
The more research you do early on, the better prepared you will be to meet key application deadlines and be on your way to a smooth transfer.
- Meet with your academic advisor – Whether you have a major or not, your academic advisor can help make sure you are taking classes that will likely fulfill general education requirements. They can also give you suggestions on how to choose a major and will be able to direct you to other campus resources specific to your needs and goals. Advisors are there to help, so be sure to meet with them to guide your studies. Be sure to take advantage of the many resources available, including information on tutoring, study skills, articulation /transfer agreements, and even transfer scholarships.
- Take the right courses the first two years - Paying careful attention to your class schedule is beneficial to receiving the most transfer credit at a four year institution. Look at prerequisites at your target four year schools, check out state transfer information systems for credit transfer, and ask your advisors for specific advice on which classes to take.