For High School Students Exploring Transfer

Tips for High School Students Heading to College

Community College Student

There are many options available for students who aren't considering the traditional college pathway.

What is a community college and why should I consider going there?

A community college is a two-year college that offers a variety of educational programs, who primarily confer associate degree and certificates. Tuition and fees are typically lower at a community college than a four-year university. More and more students are finding this a viable alternative to begin their education, especially if they are not sure if a larger institution is right for them. If you are considering this route, planning ahead is crucial. Use our Search for Transfer Profiles to learn more about community colleges and what they can offer you.

What is dual enrollment?

A dual enrollment program allows high school students to enroll in college courses and receive credit for them before they graduate. These credits can be applied to both high school and college graduation, and they can be transferred to other colleges and universities. Use our Search for Course Equivalencies to find out if college credit you have received will transfer to another college.

Will colleges give me credit for my career and technical program of study?

Some colleges will give you credit for career and technical programs of study or coursework taken at the high school level. Ask an advisor in your school's Student Services department for more information. Pennsylvania students can Search PA Bureau of CTE SOAR Programs right here on CollegeTransfer.Net to find how credit may be awarded if you successfully complete an approved program of study.

Five Important Questions to Ponder

Can I test out of college courses?

This is called credit by examination, and many schools accept it. Ask your prospective college's Admissions Office how they award credit for Advanced Placement (AP) exams, International Baccalaureate (IB) exams, College Level Examinations (CLEP) and DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSST).

Should I apply as a transfer student if I attended college during high school?

Most institutions require that you have a earned a minimum number of college-level credits before you must apply for transfer admission instead of regular admission.  Check out the Transfer Profiles of colleges you are interested in to see what their specific requirements are.

What are remedial courses?

Remedial courses are classes taken by students who have failed placement tests at a college after they have been admitted. Remediation is costly to students because these courses do not satisfy degree requirements and they do not transfer.

What are degree requirements?

Degree requirements are an authoritative list of coursework that you must take to successfully complete a program of study. They usually consist of general education, major and minor requirements, as well as electives. They can include a minimum number of hours, a required GPA and/or mandatory grades. A bachelor's degree will typically require 120 credits to graduate, while an associate's degree is generally 60. These numbers are not set in stone, as some programs might require more coursework and will vary by institution.

How can I find help paying for college?

The very first thing you should do is complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine your eligibility for financial aid that includes the Pell Grant, federal student loans and work-study. You can contact your state department of education to learn about state programs. Also contact the Financial Aid office of your prospective college to find out about institutional scholarships.