Starting at Eastern Iowa Community Colleges (EICC) and then transferring to a four-year public or private college or university is a winning strategy for students interested in earning a Bachelor’s degree. From new high school graduates to adult learners and career-changers, more students are considering the transfer route for its many advantages:
- Affordable tuition that can allow you to graduate debt free
- Personal attention from faculty and staff
- Transfer agreements with public and private universities that make the process seamless
- The opportunity to explore academic and career options
Approximately 57 percent of current EICC students are enrolled in transfer programs.
“By starting with us and completing an Associate’s degree, students are well prepared to transfer on to a four-year university,” says Lindsey Ramsey, the Regents Transfer Advisor for EICC. “Because we work so closely with area colleges, we can help you select the courses based on the requirements of those institutions – making sure they will transfer.”
Do a Little Research and Get Advising Support
If transfer to a four year school is something you’re considering, Lindsey says it’s important to start by doing research into the university you are interested in. “Review their website and schedule a campus visit to determine if the school is the right fit for you,” she explains. “And make sure you talk with your advisor here at EICC. He or she can definitely help you make good decisions regarding the classes you select while you are a student at EICC,” she adds. Kenny Wheeler, Admission Advisor with Western Illinois University echoes this comment. “This partnership with an advisor at the four-year college should be an ongoing conversation,” he adds. “He or she will then have a pretty good idea of your academic profile and continue to assist you moving forward.”
Admission requirements, degree requirements, and course equivalencies vary by college and can change at either the community college or the four-year college notes Lindsey so it’s important for transfer students to remain in contact with the four-year college. Curtis Williams, MPA, Director of Academic Advising at Western Illinois University (WIU) adds that most students who transfer from EICC with an Associate’s in Science or an Associate’s in Arts – who maintained a good grade point – can have the degree transferred ‘with no questions asked.’ “Four-year colleges will look for any pre-requisite courses needed for the major, but usually all general education requirements will be met,” he adds.
Attending a community college can provide substantial savings. By starting and staying at a community college through completion of an Associate degree, students can take substantial sums off the overall cost of a Bachelor’s degree. “The financial aid process at a four-year school is the same,” notes Curtis. Students need to fill out their FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) as soon as possible after January 1st.
Another important, yet often overlooked, benefit is scholarship opportunities. “Most four-year schools have a variety of transfer scholarships that students transferring from a community college are eligible for,” says Thomas Paulsen, Admissions Representative from the University of Iowa. “Last year, the university awarded over $1 million in scholarships to transfer students.”
Start near … Go far!
Transferring from a community college is smart way to start college, save money and achieve academic goals. And, by utilizing the expertise of dedicated professors, professionals and resources, the process provides a smooth transition to a four-year institution, especially for graduates with an Associate degree. “The best advice I can give is to work hard, plan ahead and immerse yourself in community college and then at the college you transfer to,” adds Tom. “Your time at each will go by extremely fast!”
For more information, visit eicc.edu/transfer.