By Areeya Tipyasothi
The air is crisp, the birds are chirping and the days are getting longer… ‘Tis the season!
… The season for prospective transfer students to start working on their applications, that is.
With the bliss of winter break becoming nothing more than a memory, students all over the country find themselves returning to the daily grind of school and, for certain enterprising community college folk, starting to work on their transfer applications.
For many community college students, transferring to a four-year college is seen as an opportunity to extend their academic horizons as well as a means towards a more lucrative career. While it isn’t a completely cut-and-dry fact that eventually getting a bachelor’s degree leads to higher pay (some studies are beginning to show that starting salary is also highly dependent on what field you specialize in, as well as prior experience), it is generally accepted that going to a four-year school will allow for more financial stability in the future.
The popularity of the transfer option is the reason why there are so many resources available for the prospective transfer student at SCC. But if you find yourself overwhelmed by the process, be sure to consult the carefully curated list of tips for transferring below in order to make your application season as painless as possible.
Establish a timeline
Transferring to a four-year college is undoubtedly time-sensitive. Each university has its own requirements and deadline for applications (the UW transfer application, for example, is due on Feb. 15). This is why it is especially important for students to plan ahead and anticipate when/if they are eventually going to apply for a transfer.
Many schools highly recommend or require a certain number of transferrable credits, so allowing yourself at least several months can be invaluable in preparing to transfer. As for those in the midst of the process already, keep track of deadlines well! There is little to no forgiveness in the land of late college applications.
Know the requirements
Different schools have different requirements, and it can be hard to wrap your head around the specifics for each university. Research well into your schools of choice and find out whether they have foreign language requirements or additional required general coursework.
While many of these requirements may be fulfilled through courses taken in high school — in which case you’ll need to confirm by submitting a high school transcript — you will want to check your transcripts to make sure you won’t be blindsided later by a missing art credit.
Understand the essays
SCC has a ton of resources available for students planning on transferring, which includes help on understanding application essay prompts and help on writing essays. Keep your prompt in mind early on. Giving yourself time to think will allow for inspiration to hit, thus helping you avoid the pitfalls of a cliché personal statement.
Read, reread, revise and, if you’re comfortable with it, have everyone you know give you feedback on it. You never know which set of fresh eyes is going to catch that small grammatical error capable of making or breaking your application.
Need more information on transferring to a four-year university? Check out the news briefs for upcoming events that will help guide you through the transfer application!