Transfer Forum

About two months ago, I attended a Transfer Forum sponsored by NJ Association of College Admission Counseling (NJACAC) at Raritan Valley Community College (RVCC).  There was a panel of transfer personnel from RVCC, Middlesex Community College, and the County College of Morris.  Here are some of the highlights of the program.
Transfer: One of the most common questions asked is, “Will my credits transfer?” The answer is, “it depends.”  It depends on the:
  1.          Grades you get.  Typically you need a C or better for your credits to transfer.
  2.          Major you select.
  3.          Articulation agreement between the community college and the 4-year college.
  4.          Type of class (i.e., on-line classes may not transfer).

So, have your transfer discussion with transfer services personnel at the community college and at the 4-year college you would eventually like to attend, while you are still in high school.


Community College Price: Generally, you pay less for your local public NJ community college, than another public NJ community college in the state.  If your local public NJ community college doesn’t have the major you are interested in, you may be able to attend another public NJ community college for the same price, through a charge back. 
Look into the NJ STARS program which waives tuition at community college, for the top 15% of the graduates from your high school.

Disability Services: Not all public NJ community colleges have the same level of disability services.  For example, County College of Morris offers disability services to about a quarter of its students.

Middlesex County College

Remedial Coursework: The panel members indicated that about 75% of their community college students need at least one developmental (aka remedial) course. Students need to take an Accuplacer placement exam unless their SAT or ACT scores are above a threshold.  Currently, they need at least an SAT score of 540 in Critical Reading (old SAT) and 530 in Math (old SAT) or a 23 subscore on the ACT to be waived from the Accuplacer exam.  Students cannot use a calculator for the Accuplacer exam.  It is not unusual for a two-year associates degree to take 3 years, because of remedial classes.


Unique Programs and Opportunities: Some public NJ community colleges have unique programs and/or opportunities.  For example:
  •         Middlesex Community College has Dental Hygiene degree.
  •         RVCC has a medical coding  degree.
  •         Students at Glassboro Community College can live on the Rowan campus.
  •         Middlesex Community College gives credit for military experience. 
      If you attended a NJ community college and transferred to a 4-year college, what tips/advice do you have?

Twelve College Transfer Tips

If you are a college student with plans to transfer, here are twelve tips from the Higher Education Consultants Association Conference session on understanding the transfer process.

Do:

  1.  Stay for at least a year at a college, before transferring.
  2. Save the syllabus, not just the course description, from each class you take. This will improve the chance that the college you are transferring to will accept your credits.
  3. Get involved at your current school and develop a relationship with your professors.
  4. Establish a relationship with the transfer advisor. 
  5. Work with your academic advisor to evaluate your level of performance relative to your current college and the college you want to transfer to.
  6. Get a sense about transfer student life, by talking with other students who transferred to the colleges you are considering.
  7. Become familiar with the requirements (e.g., minimum and maximum number of credits, as well as test requirements) for transfer student applicants at the colleges you are considering. They vary considerably from college to college. Make sure that you meet more than the minimum standards, because entrance may be selective. 
  8. Check out http://www.njtransfer.org/, if you are transferring from a NJ community college.

Know that: 
  1. Some colleges may reserve a certain number of seats for students transferring from other particular colleges.
  2. Some schools don’t have merit aid for transfer students.
  3. Less money, less housing and fewer seats are generally available for a mid-year transfer, than for a fall transfer.

Don’t:

  1. Write, “I’m transferring because my current college stinks,” in your application essay about why you want to transfer to College X.
What are your transfer experiences? What do you wish someone told you about transferring? What tips would you add to this list?