One of the most frequently asked questions to us as admissions experts relates to community college as a segue into university. Here are our thoughts and some major key tips for those of you considering this option.
Are your high school grades and/or SAT low? Then Community College gives you a second bite at the apple in that you can reinvent yourself in Community College. You just need to get great grades and your chances of transferring from a Community College to a university is higher than from a university to a university. And you won’t even need to SAT!
Are finances a major issue for you? Community College is a great backdoor, saving you thousands of dollars as you will be able to skip the first two years of university tuition. ALSO, for those trying to get in-state status at a state school (i.e. University of California), then community college can buy you the time you need to establish in-state residency. You can then apply to a state school, which will save you not only money but will also increase your chances of admissions. This is because gaining in-state status will favor those applying to state schools who are mandated to admit a far higher number of in-state residents then students who are applying out of state.
Are you still confused as to your intended major? If so this is a great way to test out different classes and then apply to your intended major at college with a high GPA and thereby hit the ground running.
Are you going to be focused and take Community College seriously? If not, then don’t take this path because you’ll be stuck in a time warp struggling year after year, losing confidence and never graduating with more than an Associate’s Degree. Basically, you HAVE to think about this as a pass-through and the only way to pass-through is to achieve high grades; without them you won’t go really anywhere.
(1) Make sure to work with a college counselor as soon as you start Community College so you know exactly which classes you need, the GPA you should attain etc. to ensure your admissions to your university of choice;
(2) If possible, go to a Community College that is a traditional feeder to your university of choice (i.e. SMC to UCLA, De Anza to Berkeley, Saddleback to UCI);
(3) Some Community Colleges may not have all the required classes you need to transfer or they are heavily over-enrolled. So make sure you figure the exact classes you need, apply to get into them early, and if you need outline how you will go between 2-3 different community colleges to get all your required classes (see point 1 for help).
Hope this helps!
Read more helpful tips on our Quora account and stay tuned to other blogs on our Write Track Admissions Page.
~ Hamada | Write Track Founder