Thinking ahead

Transferring to a university is closer than it seems

By Lauren Lukens, Editor-in-Chief.
By Lauren Lukens, Editor-in-Chief.

High-quality and affordably priced classes are persuading more students to begin their quest for a bachelor’s degree at a community college. While one may have a plan to earn a bachelor’s degree, one needs to execute their idea in a professional and timely manner while using community college as a foundation to reach goals. Plenty of students at Schoolcraft intending on transferring next fall are thinking the same thing: When and how do I apply?

As a prospective transfer student, it is important to plan ahead and ask questions. Since each college has its own requirements, the most important action one can do for a smooth transition is strategize and research multiple university deadlines until finding the one that fits the applying student. One can gain help from school counselors and academic advisors, university websites and transfer advisors of the four-year colleges considered.

Schoolcraft has special articulation agreements, transfer guides, the Michigan Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (MACRAO) Agreement and Michigan Transfer Agreement to help one easily transfer. Remember to work closely with an academic advisor or counselor if transferring credits to save time and money is one’s goal.

While researching to reach a planned goal, choosing and registering for classes by oneself might seem like a smart idea, getting help with the transfer process is a must. When transferring from a community college to a four-year university, it is easy for one to waste time by taking credits that will not transfer to a school of choice or do not relate to an aspired career field.

Chances are, if one does not already have an associate degree, know where they want to transfer or have a designated bachelor’s degree, they are not ready to transfer to a university yet. National research shows that community college students who finish their degree program complete the baccalaureate at a much higher rate than those who transfer simply with a grab bag of credits, according to US News in 2009. Sometimes it is best to spend an extra semester at community college to complete an associate degree than to rush the decision and application process.

If in the procedure of applying to universities or already applied, make sure to stay focused on current classes. Nothing would be more devastating than getting accepted to the university of choice, then getting denied due to current semester grades. Keep an ultimate goal in mind when taking classes that are not particularly interesting, and remember that motivation and work ethic will pay off.

The most important part of applying to universities is having backup plans. Even if one is positive that a university is the perfect fit, it does not hurt to apply elsewhere. Oftentimes, students are turned away from their dream school and left to figure out a different path to a degree. To make this chance less nerve-wracking or devastating, applying to multiple universities allows one to have a few options for success.

Whether only attending Schoolcraft for a semester, two years or several years, keep in mind that planning ahead is necessary to reach educational and career goals. If one wants to transfer for fall 2015, but does not already have clear idea of where they want to go or what they want to do, it may be best to consider an extra semester at Schoolcraft to decide what university to attend, degree to receive and career to pursue.

Those who have applied or are in the process of applying to universities should remember to have backup plans. Also, make sure to put as much effort possible into the long, tedious applications and essays—these seemingly pointless tasks determine one’s fate.