5 Tips for Transitioning from Community College to a 4-Year School
Two-year colleges are a great way to start your college career. By taking basic, General Ed classes such as biology, English, math, and several others, you can be ready to focus on your degree of choice when you decide to make the switch to a four-year school. These schools don’t differ greatly from two-year schools, but you want to make sure you are prepared when it’s time to transfer. Here are five tips for students planning to make the switch:
Make sure you’ve done the research
There are tons of schools to choose from across the globe, so make sure you choose the right one for you. Do your research on the schools that catch your eye, and make sure all of the courses you’ve taken so far will transfer. Think about location, size, degrees offered, and cost. The bottom line is, what are you looking for in a school?
Apply for financial aid
If you will be in need of extra funds to cover your college costs, make sure you apply for financial aid. Completing the FAFSA (that’s the Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is a great place to start. As you go through the filing process, you will need to select the school or schools you want the potential financial aid to cover, so be sure to add your 4-year school(s) of choice. Depending on your financial need, you may be eligible for grants, scholarships, a part-time job, and loans. Some schools may also require the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE, so make sure you check each school’s financial aid requirements as well!
Invest in a good pair of tennis shoes
Four-year schools are typically larger than two-year ones. Buying a pair of walking shoes will keep you and your feet comfortable while walking from classes around campus. With the amount of walking required, you will reach for your tennis shoes more often than not. Your feet will thank you!
Learn to say no
There will be a lot of distractions at a bigger school. The last thing you want to do is set yourself back by not staying focused on the important things. With that being said, you do not have to limit yourself to a go to class and study-only lifestyle - you can still have fun, but make sure you know when to say no to a party and yes to studying for a class or test.
Attendance is still important
If you think you can skip a week of class without having a reasonable excuse and still pass, you’re wrong. Attendance can make or break you at the end of the semester. Some professors are more lenient, but beware of those who follow the guidelines and are strict about them. Missing an excessive amount of classes can drop your grade one or more letters.
Plus, attendance grades are typically entered at the very end of the semester, leaving no time for adjustments. Keep in mind, professors are more willing to work with students who attend class regularly, do the homework, and keep them in the loop when a day or two are missed.
Transitioning to a 4-year school does not have to be stressful and overwhelming. Make sure to stay focused on doing your best. Performing well in college is vital if you want to avoid suspension and keep your GPA up, not to mention keeping your financial aid. Keep these tips in mind when you make the big transition to a 4-year school. Good luck!