Before you take the Compass test or the Accuplacer at community college, be sure to prep! When you go to sign up for CC they will make you take a placement test the same day, so do your prep before you go, for as much as 3 months prior! This is REALLY important because with just a little prep you can test into regular English and Math instead of remedial English and Math. A 4 year college will not give you credit for remedial English and Math, so you don’t want to pay to take those classes unless you absolutely have to. You can do great prep for either test using My Foundations Lab, a CollegeMapper partner. This $11 course will help you score higher on the prep tests and keep you out of remedial classes!
Not all CC’s are the same, so visit 2 or 3 near you and see which feels the best for your career goals and learning style.
When you have chosen a CC and done your placement test prep on My Foundations Lab, THEN go in and take the placement test. You take the test on the same day that you sign up for CC.
When you go to register at CC, they will ask you to take the placement test that same day and then they will likely help you choose your first classes! This is exciting! You may also be able to buy your books then.
As soon as school starts, or even before it does, make an appointment to meet with an academic adviser on campus. Have them help you create a two year course plan so that you don’t waste time and money taking classes that your four year school will not accept.
Before you get too far into your community college career be sure that you do some research about the schools you want to transfer to. This way you won’t have to worry about taking classes that your four year college won’t accept.
Some universities hold information sessions about transferring. Either way be sure to contact the admissions office at your target four year college and ask to meet with their transfer adviser. This meeting is important so that you can be sure you are taking all the steps and classes necessary to be admitted.
Some universities require you to apply for your major as well as the school in general. Double check that you have all the pre-requisites finished at CC before you transfer. DO NOT take any class at CC unless you know for a fact that the four year school will accept it. This mistake can cost you lots!
Research if the universities and colleges you are interested participate in Direct Transfer (most do).
Four year universities use several different methods when accepting credits. Make sure you contact the admissions office before you take a class to make sure the credit is transferable.
You never know when you will need a class or a good grade to fulfill a certain requirement, so make sure all of your grades are good. The four year school will want to see mostly A’s and B’s from you, and more A’s is always better, so do your best. You want the four year school to know you are a good student. Also, future employers can ask to see your transcript, so make sure it’s something you are proud to show.
You may need a rec letter for a job or college so it’s a great idea to take 2 or 3 classes from the same prof if you can. This way that person gets to know you and to see your work ethic (make sure it’s good!)
A four year college is going to be impressed if you have been busy with activities before you transfer. If you are a traditional aged student then join clubs or sports on the CC campus because these will show the four year school what kind of student you will be once there. If you are a mature, returning, or adult student, then you can talk about your job and family responsibilities and your hobbies.
Make sure that you meet with an adviser and are meeting all the Associate’s Degree graduation requirements. It is helpful if you meet once a quarter to make sure you’re staying on track. Talk with your adviser about the colleges you are applying to, to be sure that you will be accepted to at least one.
Check to see if the colleges require you to take one of these tests. If so, schedule it far in advance and do some prep for it.
Make a resume of all of your activities from high school and college. If you are an adult student, then you include activities only after high school. You can use the easy resume builder tool on CollegeMapper.
Work backwards to make sure you meet all necessary deadlines at your target colleges. Start researching the required application pieces 3 months in advance, to make sure you will have everything you need. Make a careful list and check it twice.
Work on your applications far in advance so they represent you well. Give yourself at least one month to write and edit so you have the best chances. Have your adviser proofread your applications so they shine, and submit them at least two weeks early! Then call each college one week later to verify that the school received everything and that your app is complete–this is a very important step because incomplete applications get thrown away!
Once you have been accepted and decided where to go, be sure to submit your deposit quickly to hold your spot. And good luck to you at your new school! Yay, college!!