Numerous students attend ARCC with the intent to transfer after completing a few courses or obtaining a degree.
By Jordyn Cooke
Many students experience a flurry of anxiety when faced with the thought of transferring and all the tedious steps they must undertake in order to make the journey as smooth as possible. The timing of this process relies on a variety of factors for each individual: the number of credits they have taken, the program they are going for, and the requirements of the college they hope to attend. To help prepare ARCC students for this daunting task, here is a list of tasks essential to the process of transferring:
1. Know where you are going and why.
“Just because a school is hard to get into does not mean it is a good school,” ARCC advisor Stacy Brunsgaard said.
According to Brunsgaard, many students have their hearts set on a school that may not be suitable for them or their educational goals. In order to decide which school will be a good fit, first figure out what it is you value in a school: prestige, location, tuition costs, classroom size? Each plays a key role in determining the college experience you will have.
Once you have decided on a major, make sure that program is offered at your college of choice. Sites such as BigFuture allow students to input their criteria and search for the schools that best suit their needs.
Next, understand the requirements for being accepted into the program. Maintaining an appropriate GPA and completion of prerequisite courses are common stipulations for entry. It is helpful to know ahead of time whether or not your credits will transfer into the new school.
Transferology is a tool recommended by ARCC advisors. The site accesses your transcript and allows you to see how courses translate into various schools, and all MnSCU schools participate.
2. Let the school know you are coming.
ARCC student Emily Nihart has her sights set on the University of Minnesota, where she hopes to major in Graphic Design this coming fall. She has already researched the program, but she has yet to take the next big step: applying to the university of her dreams.
The first step is to apply to the college before the deadline. Many schools have priority deadlines, and tend to pick the majority of students from this bunch before considering later applicants. When submitting your application, have your official transcript transferred from ARCC. This can be done by contacting the college you are hoping to attend. Some colleges require a fee for this service.
Note that if you are applying in the middle of a semester, you will need to send a second transcript to the college to receive credit for the semester you have just completed.
This is also the time to complete the FAFSA if interested in Financial Aid. Completing the application early will increase your likelihood of having your financial needs met.
3. Get advice.
When Jessica Johnson decided she was transferring to ARCC this fall from the University of Minnesota Crookston, she spoke with a variety of people to complete the process. She had to tie up all the loose ends at her previous school while being sure to meet all the conditions of her new school. This meant communicating with both campuses throughout the process.
There are plenty of resources offered right here at ARCC to help you reach your next educational goal. The advising services are available throughout the week. While Quick Stops are limited to 10 minutes, they also offer longer scheduled appointments.
Brooke Biesiada says advisors are “helpful, but not prepared.” Brunsgaard said the advising team has heard this before. The problem, she said, is often a “barrier of what the real question is.” Students often come with an idea of what they need help with, but not enough information to ask the right questions. Doing a bit of background research can help students to better pinpoint their needs. Seeing more than one advisor can also confuse students, as they may offer different solutions to the same situation.
“If you find an advisor you like, keep working with them,” Brunsgaard said.
One you have spoken with staff at your current school, be sure to reach out to members of your prospective school to make sure you are on the right track.
4. Follow the steps for success.
Now that you know what you need to do, and what resources are available to you, remember to follow through! Figure out where you are going and what you’ll need to get there. Communicate with the school you hope to attend throughout the process. And don’t forget to seek advice from those who are readily available to assist you.