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Tips for University Students

College Transfer Tips

Many students will start their college journey at a community college with the intention of transferring to a university after earning an associate degree or their needed credits. Rio Salado College offers seamless transfer options to Arizona’s three in-state universities and to many other partnering universities.

To ensure you have a successful transfer experience, we have compiled some tips that can help you better understand the process.

Before Starting the Transfer Process

  • Research your prospective college thoroughly. Find out if the school uses semesters or quarters, offers your program, offers online options, etc.
  • Make sure you understand transfer agreements. Universities may have agreements with local community colleges stating they will automatically accept students transferring in with their associate degrees. 
  • Check your prospective school’s website regularly to keep track of any submission deadlines for forms, transcripts and essays.
  • Look for any transfer scholarships at your prospective college.
  • Keep copies of your academic records and coursework.  
  • Explore resources at your prospective school. In addition to academic advisors and success coaches, many schools have various materials and resources available for transfer students to help make the transition as smooth as possible.
  • Choose an accredited school as most accredited universities only accept credits earned from another accredited university. 
  • Submit all your transcripts. Maybe in high school, you took an advanced placement (AP) class and exam that could transfer as credit. Some students might forget to submit old transcripts from a year or two they took at community college, where they might find hidden credit in general education courses.

Transfer Myths and Misconceptions

  • My grades don’t matter. Your grades always matter! Most schools require a minimum GPA as part of the transfer admission process, and most schools will not accept credits with grades less than a C.
  • My financial aid goes with me. It depends. Merit based scholarships usually do not transfer, but student loans usually do. 
  • Community college credits are not accepted at universities. Most community college credits are designed to transfer to colleges and universities. A university may accept your credits, but if some courses are not applicable to your degree program, they may be transferred as elective credits.  
  • To transfer, all I need is an application. No, every college and university has different entrance requirements. Depending on your major, you may have additional entrance requirements specific to that major.  
  • Every college is the same, so it doesn't matter where I transfer. Each of our partner institutions is different. Location, price, available majors, and offered scholarships are some of the considerations that may narrow down which school is the best fit for you.

Transfer Checklist

  1. Talk to an advisor at your current college/university about the transfer process
  2. Research programs at the college/university where you wish to transfer
  3. Determine your transfer eligibility and any registration requirements (attending a student orientation, etc.)
  4. Find out how your credits will transfer
  5. Note any deadline dates for submitting applications
  6. Compile and submit necessary documents (transcripts, recommendation letters, applications, etc.)
  7. Apply at your transfer college/university!