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7 Steps To Make Transferring From Community College Painless

by Margaret Hurst
Marketing Specialist

June 12, 2015

Attending community college is a great way to start off your higher education journey. Earning your associate degree is a significant accomplishment, but if you plan to take your education even further you’ll need to transfer to a 4-year institution.

Transferring from community college to a university should be exciting—not stressful. That’s where we come in. Follow these five steps and your transition will be easy and painless.

Step 1: Start Early

If you know you want to earn your bachelor’s degree after your associate degree, don’t wait until your last semester to get started.

By planning your transition to a 4-year school early, you can select the community college courses that will fulfill your bachelor's degree requirements. That way you make the most of your time and money spent on school.

Step 2: Meet With An Advisor

The first thing you should do when you think you want to pursue a 4-year degree is to talk to an advisor. Advisors can help you with a number of things from what degree you want to earn, to which classes you need to take to make it happen. They want to help make the transfer process as painless as possible, so get in touch.

Step 3: Consider Joint Admission

Joint Admission programs, like 2NAU, are available through some community college and 4-year school partnerships. You apply and are admitted to the 4-year university while enrolled in your first or second community college semester. There are various perks including no application fee, access to university resources and your own assigned academic advisor.

Step 4: Look Up Which Courses Transfer

Knowing which of your community college courses will transfer to your bachelor’s degree program and fulfill your specific requirements is key to a painless transition.

If you’re transferring from an Arizona community college, you can look up which of your courses will transfer to public Arizona universities using the Course Equivalency Guide (CEG). The CEG can be accessed at

If you’re further along in your community college career and have already taken most of your classes, you can request a free transfer credit evaluation.

Step 5: Find Out How Many Credits You Can Transfer

Most bachelor’s degree programs allow you to transfer up to 64 credits from an accredited institution towards your degree. However, some universities let you transfer more, which brings your overall education costs down.

NAU's 90-30 programs allow you to transfer up to 90 community college credits towards your bachelor’s degree.

Step 6: Update Your FAFSA

Updating your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) with your new 4-year school is vital to making sure you don’t miss out on any financial aid offers. NAU’s school code is 001082. Check out this blog post for more information on how to fill out your FAFSA.

Step 7: Stay Dedicated

If a bachelor’s degree is your end plan, then stay focused on that throughout your time at community college. Setting a goal and thinking about it often helps you stay on track. Meet with your advisor once a semester to make sure you’re doing everything you need to be doing to have a painless transition to your 4-year university.

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