should i go to community college and then transfer

5 Benefits of Going to Community College and Then Transferring

Many high school graduates feel pressured to follow the traditional college pathway – the four-year commitment, the bachelor’s degree, the campus living. And while this is a great experience for many individuals, it is not the right move for everyone. Some students are not ready to attend a college or university directly after high school. Some need time to explore their interests, establish goals, build their skillsets, and plan a budget before committing to a university.

For these individuals, community college offers a great way to stay in the school mindset, explore potential career interests, and save money while knocking out prerequisites for a longer-term degree.

Of course, the thought of transferring from school to school can be intimidating. You may be wondering, is it really worth it? What is the benefit of attending a community college, then transferring to a university? Will I have trouble transferring to a university after starting at a local, community school?

These are common questions we hear from incoming college students, so let us put your mind at ease. There are many benefits of going to a community college and then transferring to a university. Here are five examples:

1. You can explore your interests and potential majors.

It’s estimated that between 20 and 50 percent of undergraduate students begin their college career without declaring a major. And those who do choose a major often change their minds! According to one study, about 75 percent of college students change their major at least once before graduation. And less than half of college graduates work in their field of study upon leaving school. This is all to say that college students too often feel pressured to choose a major early in their college experience—and sometimes make the wrong choice. It does not have to be this way.

Community college offers a wonderful chance to explore your interests and career goals within the first one or two years of study. You can take different electives, alongside general education requirements, to explore what you’d like to do with your life ahead. Then, when transferring to a four-year college or university, you will have much clearer sight on your career goals and the course of study needed to achieve them. And you can cut the time spent in university in half.

2. You can complete general education requirements.

No matter what major you end up in, every college career starts with general education courses. This means that your first two years of study will be comprised of a mix of preliminary science, mathematics, English, and communication courses – no matter whether you take them at a university or a community college. Fulfilling these classes at a community college can be an affordable, flexible way to cross them off your list of degree requirements (as long as the credits transfer to your next college or university). This will in turn save you time (and money) once in a university program.

3. You can save money by starting at a community college.

When compared to both public and private universities, the costs of attending a community college are significantly less. This is because most community colleges do not invest in things like on-campus facilities, amenities, or student services—saving students thousands of dollars on tuition costs. While community college does not offer the full “college experience,” it can be a great opportunity to save money while checking off the prerequisite, general education requirements needed for a future degree.

Cost savings is perhaps the biggest attraction for students considering community college. However, one thing to keep in mind is that community colleges do not typically offer generous financial aid packages or benefits to students, so costs may need to come out-of-pocket.

4. Community college can help you ease into the college experience.

Some people desire to pursue a college degree, but do not feel ready to commit to the full college experience. Some need to stay close to home, or to their job, while attending school. Others might need to find their groove by taking part-time college classes, before committing to a full-time credit load. This is okay! Community college can be a great steppingstone as it allows students the chance to stay local, take classes on a flexible schedule, and get used to the format of college coursework before diving into a college or university.

Community college can also give you the opportunity to improve your skills and grade point average before applying to a university. While easing into the college experience, you can learn how to balance coursework with other obligations (like work or your family). You can develop time management skills, project management tactics, and figure out the learning style and patterns that work best for you. All the while, you may work on ace-ing your community college classes, therefore increasing your chances of landing a spot in your future, desired program. (Or, landing a merit-based scholarship that you may not have previously qualified for!)

5. The transfer process is simple.

Transferring course credits from a community college to a university is much easier than you might think. As long as you’ve worked hard in your classes, the transition between schools should be relatively smooth. You can work with a transfer admissions counselor to make the process as easy as possible for you. To start, all you will need to bring is a copy of your transcript! An admissions counselor will review your previous course credits and confirm how much credit will transfer to your new degree program.

At Goodwin University, our goal is to make the transfer process simple for incoming students. We will review an unofficial copy of your transcript within one business day, and let you know which of your previous courses will transfer and apply to our school. This process is designed to equip you with knowledge right away, and get you started on the road ahead! We will then complete a comprehensive review of your official transcript after you apply.

The best part is, most of your credits never expire! Even if you completed a community college program years ago, you can still transfer those credits into Goodwin and apply them to your degree. (Visit our transfer equivalencies page to learn more about what credits will likely transfer.) Previous credits can be transferred from a range of credible sources, whether that’s a community college, professional development program, or even volunteer experiences.

Transferring from a community college to a university can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. At Goodwin University, you will be in good company! More than half of our students (56 percent) have transferred from other institutions. We have close relationships with community colleges throughout Connecticut, and are here to make the transfer process as simple as possible for you. Our admissions team can evaluate your transcript and navigate your transfer credits. Even more, we can help you secure financial aid, schedule classes on a flexible schedule, and connect you with a range of student support services along the way.

Ready to get started? Visit us online to request more information about transferring from a community college to Goodwin University.