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How can I have an easy transition from a community college to a 4-year university?

I plan on transferring to an undecided four year University and am scared that the transition will be tough on me. Is there any way I can ensure that I will be able to thrive in and enjoy my new environment?
#communitycollege #transfer #college-transfer #transition #social #mental-health #budgeting

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Fatima’s Answer

Hey Nabeeha,

Your scare of transitioning into a 4 year university is totally valid. I spent my first 2 years of college at a community college and then transferred to a 4 year uni. The transition was challenging both academically and financially. However, the few things that helped me were -

Fatima recommends the following next steps:

I worked with an advisor at my community college to narrow down what my major would be at the 4 year uni. From there, I worked with my advisor to make sure i was taking the correct courses, with a 50-50 split of 2 classes being more challenging (for me, it's Math and science courses) and 2 classes being more fun and easy going (ex- History, Speech,etc.). I continued working with an advisor throughout my 4 year uni experience as well.
Community college fees are generally significantly lower than 4 year uni's. I saved as much as i could from the leftover Financial Aid money i had while attending Community college and then i supplemented my savings by working at paid internships. You always have to prepare for the known and unknown expenses that come with 4 year uni's. Do so, by saving and finding way to make more money before starting at a 4 year uni.
Academically prepare yourself for the rigor of 4 year uni course load. A good way to prep for learning is to hone in on how you learn. Coursera offers a free course on "Learning how to learn" - super awesome and fruitful course to take as a student. Here's the link: https://www.coursera.org/learn/learning-how-to-learn/
Be easy on yourself. Take advantage of the free counseling at school, do things that interest you and steer away from just doing things that make you money.
Don't indulge in unhealthy relationships. Whether that be friends, intimate partners, etc. If you're trying to avoid conflict, stay away from people that are always in a conflict of some sort.

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Hwal’s Answer


I transferred with my associate's degree from a community college to a university to get my bachelor's degree not too long ago, so can speak from my personal experience. Many schools have what they call articulation agreements for specific majors and programs where most or all of the credits you earn at a community college well automatically be accepted and transferred to the university or college you've decided to transfer to, which makes your life a lot easier that way. Most of the time, this information is published on the school websites, but you can otherwise contact the school staff where you're interested in transferring to and find out how they can help.

Apart from the above, make sure you enjoy what you're doing at a community college and to your best in all the classes for your associate's degree. Also, it always helps to consider where each school is, whether you might need to relocate, work, and how to pay for school, because all of these will help you make the best choice for your given situation. Last but not least, consider what kind of social support you have, like friends, family, counsellor, etc.

Good luck!


Hwal recommends the following next steps:

Research possible articulation agreements between different schools to see if and how many of your credits will transfer

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Sean’s Answer

This is a great question. My own daughter went to community college and then transitioned to a university. In her case, the community college had a direct transfer program or partnership with a group of universities. This relationship ensured that her community college credits transferred to the new university. Next, look for a school that matches your interest, and personal outlook. For example, if you want to be a movie producer, find out what colleges have these types of programs, and if they do, ask yourself if you are willing to live in the area where the new school is located. Additionally, it is important to have a willingness to learn about other people and places. This will help you transition to a new school because you already have a positive outlook. Next, you should investigate the new school by researching online, visiting the school (if possible), and of course try to make contact with current and former students. Most schools have people that volunteer to help new students learn about the school and the surrounding community.

Sean recommends the following next steps:

Develop a set of Goals. Understand why these goals will help you succeed.
Become involved with the school culture.
Understand that you are learning because you want to do the job that you will love to do.

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Michael’s Answer

Hi Nabeeha,

When I graduated high school, it was commonplace for several of my classmates to attend community college for 2 years and then transfer to a university (in my case it was often the University of Alabama). My advice would be to start scouting out what universities you would like to attend, contact their admissions department and inquire as to how your credits would transfer. Once you have this information, it will be easy to establish a transition plan for you to move from community college to a university. This plan will also help guide you on what sorts of classes you can take to ensure the transfer-ability.