Need Some Advice on Transfer Options

Posted by: AmandaRHD

Need Some Advice on Transfer Options - 08/23/2011 23:14 PM

I have a dilemma. In the last couple of years I have moved multiple times, and shortly after attending a university for two years I ran out of money and had to go to work. I have 30 transferable basic/general courses, but my GPA from that particular university is not very good due to a death in the family and the inability to drop classes.

Regardless, I no longer live in that state and have decided to go back to school and have the financial means to do so. I am not a resident of this new state, and have only lived here for one month. My boyfriend and I are hoping to move soon so I am not interested in jumping straight into a university. Thus, I am looking to attend a community college and do one of two things, and here's where I need the advice:

I am still on the fence about my major, leaning more towards business management and here are my options..

Option A: Work towards a transfer degree, and try to accomplish doing so in the remainder of the time I live in my current state (which will be no more then two years) and from there, transfer into a University and finish attaining a bachelors degree.

Option B: Work towards getting an Associate's Degree and from there applying to a University and working towards a bachelors.

The questions I have are, which is easier and will be more beneficial for me in the long run trying to get into a Univ? I have heard that getting an Associate's Degree basically sets you back to the beginning, and as far as Admissions goes you apply like a Freshman and not a transfer student. This could ultimately be good or bad for me, depending on where it is I am applying to. A fresh start is always great, but in doing well to attain my degree or credits at a community college and getting a good GPA, I would hope that would reflect positively on myself.

Another question, do some universities frown upon a student who has an excessive amount of college credits to transfer?

I am meeting with an adviser at a local community college in the upcoming week but I was wondering if there is anyone out there that has been in the same situation as me, wondering the same questions that could possibly shed some light on what direction I should take, or any other helpful tid-bits. Thank you in advance for your time and responses!

Posted by: Debra

Re: Need Some Advice on Transfer Options - 09/06/2011 23:02 PM

I've worked in this field for more than 25 years and I've never heard that earning an Associates can set one back. Actually, the two options that you listed are about the same as there's not a lot of difference between the two. The most important thing is to be aware of the differences in the types of 2 year degrees that are available to you. Policies vary from state-to-state and from school to school, so my advice is general in nature and you'll have to do your research.

Generally an Associates of Arts, Associates of Science and the Associates of General Studies are considered transfer degrees. You will take a combination of general education courses with a few courses in your major, all designed to be transferable to a 4-yr university. The Associates of Applied Science (AAS) tends to be geared towards those who want to learn a skill or trade, get the degree and go out to work. Although some of the courses will transfer to 4-year institutions, many of them will not and this degree is not designed for transferring.

Also know that you do not have to have a 2 year degree to transfer courses to a 4-yr school. Any for-credit college-level courses with passing grades (sometimes "D"s are not accepted in transfer)should be transferable. The exception? Courses from proprietary schools are generally not accepted for transfer.

To answer your second question: I wouldn't say that universities frown on students having a large number of credits from a 2-year school. Most 4-yr schools do however, have a limit to the number of credits that will be accepted from a 2-year school. Students at 4-year universities are often required to complete a certain number of upper division courses (jr and sr level courses that are only taught at the 4-yr school). Be mindful--sometimes all of the courses from a 2-yr school are transferable, but they don't always count towards the degree requirements at the 4-year school--the school make take them, but not use them. This could result in having to take even more classes to fulfill the graduation requirements at the university.

I hope my response didn't get too confusing. And one last word of advice--you may not have the option of ignoring the coursework that you took in another state. The institution for which I work, insists that applicants submit transcripts from each and every institution they've attended--no matter the circumstances or the outcomes. If it is learned that a student failed to do so, suspension from the school is the result. Again, do your research.

Best of luck to you!
Posted by: tcnixon

Re: Need Some Advice on Transfer Options - 09/08/2011 00:32 AM

It sounds like you have been been misinformed. I have worked in this field for quite some time and I have never heard of an associate's degree being looked at in that manner.

The one advantage to earning the associate's degree instead of just transfer credits is that, when finished, you do actually have a college degree. The future is hard to predict, so that is certainly not a bad thing.

Tom Nixon
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