Prepare to transfer for your bachelor’s degree!
Interested in transferring to a four-year college or university to complete your bachelor’s degree? The transfer process can seem overwhelming at times, but Virginia Western is here to provide the best resources to make the process seamless. The below FAQs can help you to make informed academic decisions while navigating your way to your next educational destination.
When should I see a VWCC advisor to prepare to transfer?
Ideally, you should see an advisor during the first semester. It is very important that you choose the correct general education courses that are required by a four-year college or university. Additionally, there may be elective choices within your program. You should know which choices can satisfy requirements in your prospective four-year program. Even if you graduate with a transferable degree at VWCC, it may take you longer than four years to earn a bachelor’s degree, unless you carefully plan your course selections and select the best program of study based on the degree that you would like to pursue at the four-year school.
When should I contact a transfer advisor at the four-year colleges or universities regarding questions about admissions requirements and the transfer process?
Because each college and university have its own requirements, the most important thing you can do to make the transfer process run smoothly is to plan early. Students should contact the four-year colleges and universities as soon as possible before or at the beginning of your first semester. Ideally you would want to talk about general admissions requirements and requirements based on your specific major prior to speaking with your VWCC advisor.
What can I do to ensure a successful transfer?
Planning for a successful transfer to another college or university should begin as early as possible. The specific program and college you choose directly impacts how credits transfer so the longer you wait to decide, the more you risk accumulating excess credits that cost you time and money. As soon as you start enrolling in classes, you should consider making an informed decision about where and into what program you might want to transfer. Then after meeting with a transfer advisor from the four-year college or university, align your coursework with the four-year school’s recommendations four-year.
What type of Associate degree do I need to pursue in order to transfer?
Associate of Arts (AA) and Associate of Science (AS) degree programs are specifically designed for students who want to transfer to a four-year college or university. VWCC offers several programs designed for transfer.
Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree programs are primarily designed for students who want to enter directly into the job market. However, some of these programs can also be used to prepare a student to transfer to a four-year college or university. View our transfer agreements for more information regarding transfer with AAS degrees.
Where can I find course equivalencies for four-year colleges and universities?
Transfer Virginia provides course equivalencies for Virginia colleges and universities. You can also visit the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia’s website. Keep in mind that you still need to check to determine the appropriate general education course selections for your major with the four-year college/university, especially for those schools that are outside of Virginia.
What is a Guaranteed Admission Agreement (GAA) and how do they work?
A Guaranteed Admission Agreement is an agreement that guarantees a Virginia Western student will be accepted to a specific four-year school when the student completes an associate degree and meets the requirements outlined in the GAA. These requirements are different for different schools, but typically have a minimum GPA and application deadline. A list of statewide public, private and other colleges and universities GAA’s can be found here. Be aware that GAAs are generally guarantees of admission to the four-year school generally, guarantees of admission to a specific program unless the agreement specifically states it is for a specific program. A GAA for ODU, for example, would guarantee that you will be admitted to ODU in some program, but does not guarantee that will be accepted into the Engineering program at ODU. You would have to meet any program-specific requirements and may have to compete for spots in popular programs.
What is an Articulation Agreement (AA) and how do they work?
An Articulation Agreement is a partnership between institutions that informs students what classes to take at Virginia Western in order to transfer them to a specific four-year school. Completion of an AA alone does not guarantee admission to the four-year school. A list of AAs can be found here. These agreements are normally very specific for a particular program.
Is there financial aid and scholarships available to transfer students?
Transfer students can apply for financial aid, including grants, scholarships, loans or work-study opportunities. Check the financial aid website of your future college or university. Submission of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is required for consideration. Aside from the FAFSA, schools may have institutional grants and scholarships available so contact your school of interest’s financial aid office or speak with a transfer admissions counselor at that school for information on how to apply.
What is the Two-Year Transfer Grant?
This grant is an incentive for students to first complete an associate degree at a Virginia public two-year college before transferring to a participating Virginia four-year college or university to reduce the overall cost towards completing a bachelor’s degree. To be eligible, the student must:
- Be a first-time entering freshman (at any institution) no earlier than fall 2007.
- Be an undergraduate in-state student (Virginia domicile).
- Have a cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 on a scale of 4.0 for the associate degree.
- Enroll into a degree program that is not for religious training or theological education.
- Have applied for financial aid by completing the federal Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by the four-year institution’s published deadline, etc.
- Other eligibility criteria, application and list of participating colleges and universities.
What questions should I initially ask a transfer admissions counselor at the four-year?
Services and resources for transfer students are important to your new college or university. The following list includes just a few of the resources that your future college or university will assist with such as: transfer credit, course registration, new student orientation, financial aid and housing. Additional questions are below:
- How can I make my application stand out to become a competitive applicant?
- What are the admissions requirements for the program that I am interested in?
- What are the financial aid and scholarship opportunities available for transfer students?
When should I apply to the colleges and universities that I am considering?
Each college has its own application deadlines. One of the most important things for you to find out early is when the application deadlines are. If you miss them, your transfer may be delayed by at least a full semester. A general rule of thumb is to submit your applications at the very beginning of your anticipated last full term/semester before the intended transfer. For example, if you hope to begin at the next college for the fall term, you should be filling out the application at the very beginning of the spring term. Colleges that announce that they have rolling admission mean that they will continue taking applications until they fill up. This does give a student a bit more flexibility about applying but remember, if you are applying for a competitive major, when it is full, they will stop without further notice. Most colleges set their deadlines at approximately six months prior to enrollment.
What grades are accepted by other colleges and universities?
A grade of “C” or better is normally required for a course to be transferred. Students need to check with each college to verify grade requirements. Some transfer programs require a grade of “B” or better in specific courses for transfer or to satisfy degree requirements. Any developmental courses taken, typically receiving grades such as U or S, are not eligible for transfer. If you earned “D” grades in general education courses or prerequisites for your major required by the transfer institution, you will often be directed to re-take those classes to earn a grade of C or better before being admitted to the new institution.
What GPA do I need to transfer?
Different schools have different GPA requirements. Schools may require a higher GPA requirement to qualify for transfer under a Guaranteed Admissions Agreement or Articulation Agreement, but still admit some students with a slightly lower GPA as a regular transfer student. Always check with your school of interest for GPA requirements and recommendations.
How do I send my official transcript to the four-year college or university?
Students should request their official transcripts to be sent to their four-year school through Parchment for all schools attended. Before you request your transcript, check your academic records to ensure that all final grades are posted. If a grade or degree has not been posted when you request your transcript, you will need to request and pay for another official transcript after your grades or degree is posted. Questions regarding transcript content can be emailed to the College Records Office at email@example.com.
How do the four-year schools calculate my transfer GPA for admissions purposes and does your GPA transfer?
Your GPA will not transfer to your new college or university, only credit hours. Your GPA will start over when you transfer to your new college or university. When calculating GPA for admissions purposes, some schools may recalculate your GPA if you have repeated courses. Some schools may replace your grade, but some may average your repeated course grades together. Make sure that you check with each school to determine how they calculate your GPA for admissions purposes, as this could impact satisfying minimum requirements for Guaranteed Admission Agreements, Articulation Agreements (GAAs/ AAs) or general admission requirements.
Does the four-year school accept AB/IB/CLEP exam credit?
Each school makes its own decision on this. A school may not accept any of these sources of credit or may have different score requirements to have credit granted. Virginia Western does accept this type of credit, but the four-year school may have a higher minimum score requirement, so be sure to check with the school you are considering transferring to so you know whether they will accept your score for credit.
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