Choosing the Right 4 Year Transfer Partner
Colleges, like people, have different personalities. Their personalities are shaped by their location, size, programs, faculty, services, and student body diversity. Look for characteristics that are important to you and are a good fit academically and socially. Keep your college list fairly broad to start; it can be narrowed down later as you make choices.
- Is learning about other people and their cultures and values important to me?
- Do I want to experience living in a totally different part of the country?
- What activities do I enjoy doing most?
- Am I comfortable in a large or small setting?
- Do I need specific services?
- Do I know what I want my major to be?
Know the three Types of Colleges (PASSHE, State, Private)
1. Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE)
The State System consists of 14 publicly-owned universities across Pennsylvania.
- East Stroudsburg
- Lock Haven
- Slippery Rock
- West Chester Universities of Pennsylvania.
2. State-Related Universities
State-related universities receive a significant amount of support from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. They include three large research institutions:
- Penn State University
- Temple University
- The University of Pittsburgh, as well as Lincoln University.
3. Private College and Universities
These independent institutions are privately supported.
- They can range in size from small (<1000 students) to large (20,000+ students).
- Classes tend to be smaller than in many of the public schools
- Boast excellent student-to-faculty ratios.
While these schools typically cost more than public institutions, they can offer attractive financial aid packages to applicants, which can make them very affordable.
Know the Characteristics of Colleges
- Academic programs – Does the college offer a degree in the major you want to study?
- Size of school – Would you prefer going to a very small school (<1000 students), small (1000-5999 students), medium (6000-7999 students), or large (8000+ students)? Do you prefer small class sizes?
- Do you mind being taught by a graduate student instead of a professor?
- Geographical location – Do you want to go to school in a large city, suburban, or rural setting?
- Consider your living arrangements (i.e., dorm, apartment with a roommate(s), or living at home and commuting to college).
- What kind of weather do you prefer?
- Do you care how far away from home you will be?
- Cost and financial aid opportunities –
- What kinds of financial aid/scholarships are available?
- Tuition (money charged to cover the cost of instruction) and Room and Board (lodging and food) vary for each school.
- Also, consider the cost of books, fees, and transportation.
- Student body population –
- What is the makeup of the student population?
- What is the campus environment?
- Will you feel comfortable on campus?
- Social atmosphere –
- Is there a Greek system?
- Do they have College athletics?
- Are there clubs that interests you?
- Does the local community support the college?
- Academic reputation –
- How important is the college's reputation to you?
- Colleges and universities earn their academic reputation based upon factors that include the quality of their faculty and resources, research opportunities, graduation rate, and job placement for graduates.
Plan to visit the colleges on your list.
- Make an appointment with someone in your major's department.
- Visit when classes are in session and make a point to talk to the students.
- Ask them if the professors are available when they need to speak to them and get most of the classes they want to take.
- Ask what social activities are available to students at the college, in the surrounding community, and about anything else important to you (i.e., campus security, meals, housing, student services).
Know the Application Process
- Admissions criteria may include the number of applications received and the number actually accepted, their transfer student profile, their basis for selection, and their admissions requirements (GPA, SAT or ACT scores, course requirements) for transfer students (or high school students, when applicable).
- Many colleges prefer you to apply online. Go to their website for information. Complete your application carefully since it is the primary document by which the colleges will come to know you.
- Apply for financial aid paying attention to the deadline.
- Request an official HACC transcript be sent to each college at the time of application. After your last HACC course, have a finall transcript sent to schools you are still interested in attending. Transcripts are usually sent institution-to- institution; however, follow the application instructions for their preferred method of receiving transcripts.
Helpful Transfer Resources
- HACC Transfer Events
- Why should you complete your HACC Degree?
- www.patrac.org - The Pennsylvania Transfer and Articulation Center (PA Trac) was created as a one-stop shop for PA transfer students – from community colleges to one of the PASSHE schools.
- www.collegeboard.org - Find colleges that match goals and interests
- www.nacacnet.org/knowledge-center/transfer - “Transfer Knowledge Hub: The latest resource on All Things Transfer”
- www.collegetransfer.net - A very useful college/university planning tool!