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Transferring From A Community College

Last updated March 1, 2021

Transferring from a community college to a 4-year degree is an amazing way to save on the traditional total cost of expenses and tuition of attending a 4-year program for all 4 years of college. Using dual-enrollment, or community college credits—which transfer to 4-year colleges if you work with your academic advisor—you can take care of required classes for a fraction of the price. If you earn an associate’s degree, you can even transfer to a 4-year school as a junior and immediately start taking classes directly related to your major. 

Pros on attending a community college

  • It's affordable. Getting your Associate's degree and then transferring can save you a lot of money. On average, 2 years at a state college costs $40,000 in total cost of attendance. However, an Associate's degree on average costs $25,000.
  • Many of the prerequisite classes are the exact same as the course you will take the first two years at a 4 year university
  • Many states have a direct transfer agreement for certain programs, which means that you can work toward your 4 year degree while at the community college and all of the classes in that program will transfer directly over to the 4 year college
  • Sometimes students aren't ready for the big leap to leave home. Going the community college route could mean living at home for 2 more years before you are ready to fully put wings on your dreams! 

Cons on attending a community college

  • All credits from 2 years do not necessarily transfer to all 4year colleges, so it’s important to plan ahead to make sure that the classes you are taking are actually going towards your 4 year degree plan.
  • Campus life is a bit different at a 2 year college, you may miss out on a bit of the college experience by attending a 2 year first. However, community colleges have clubs, sports and events to keep students connected.
  • Even if a campus has a direct transfer agreement, sometimes some of the classes you need to certify your major are not offered at that 2 year college so it may require you to complete additional pre reqs once you enroll at the 4 year before you are able to certify your major. 

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