It’s not a setback. It’s the path you choose — choose to transfer to better!

person stands on brown pathway
Photo by Tobi on

College transfer path. People who care for you want the best for you. It’s natural for them to think that going to community college and transferring instead of attending a 4-year university right after high school seems risky. Don’t forget the downheartedness that almost everyone else is going to a big university with an exciting future, and only a few of you are going to community colleges. You are seen as the “loser” who did not get into a college.

But let’s clarify a few things about choosing to transfer.

  • It’s your choice, and because you believe you will have a better chance to get into your dream colleges than right off high school.
  • It’s you who put yourself in this situation; community college transfer is your way to redeem yourself.
  • You are not alone; many are on this transfer journey because they all believe they can do better.
  • Lastly, people who want the best for you might not know what is best for you, and it’s time to take the responsibility for yourself.

Think this way — it seems like everyone is going to colleges, either community or 4-year colleges, but they are all going for different reasons. So, they pick different colleges and majors.

In high school, you can group people into a few categories — the popular, the geeks, the nerds, the try-hard, the drop-offs…etc. But if you ask them what major they are going to study, you will find everyone is taking a different path.

My question to you is — what is your path? Again, people who care for you want the best for you but might not know what is best for you. If you do not know what is best for you, make sure you talk to people you trust along the college transfer journey but make your own decisions after hearing a few opinions (more is not always better in this case). Are you making the best choice based on your circumstances? Is college transfer the best option for you? If the answer is “Yes,” then stop worrying about what other people think about your journey and get it over with so you can proudly say, “I transferred to [Your Dream College]!”

Ready to start? Check out the roadmap and start planning

College transfer is a choice not a compromise

Did you know?

  • Over one-third of students transfer colleges at some point whether from community college to another university or from one university to another.
  • Because of Covid-19 college transfer rate is at an all-time high because many students are not happy with how their colleges handle Covid-19.
  • College transfer application is very much the same as regular application.
  • College transfer is smart and is about taking control of one’s future for the first time. 

Many immigrant students came to the age of middle school or worse, high school. Their parents spent large amounts of money and effort to reside in the best school district they can find. Those parents hope that the school will send them to the best college and have a bright future. 

college transfer, long-term goal, change

However, many colleges and universities require a minimum academic requirement for Freshman Application.

For example, an immigrant student who does not have 4 years of regular English in high school does not qualify for University of California Freshman admissions. This is very common among immigrant students who came at the age of middle school or high school and were put in the English-as-Second language program. Due to their language inadequacy, they are barred from many other courses that qualify them for many admission minimum requirements. 

Lucky for many immigrant families and students, the path of going to community college first and transferring to their dream college is offered by many across the United State.

Check out the transfer rates of the following transfer-friendly universities

SchoolTransfer Acceptance RateNumber of Transfer Students Admitted
UMD Global Campus99%18,716
CSU Fullerton54%14,225
CSU Los Angeles39%13,837
CSU Long Beach39%13,387
CSU Northridge67%13,380
San Francisco State University90%13,341
CSU Sacramento89%12,129
San Jose State University69%10,312
UC Davis55%9,876
Florida International University76%9,584
Cal Poly Pomona60%9,352
University of Central Florida59%8,790
University of Houston87%7,544
San Diego State University30%7,519
University of South Florida62%6,677
University of North Texas81%5,874
Texas State University87%4,916
University of Texas at Arlington69%4,199
Liberty University30%1,338

If you want to transfer to more prestigious universities, you can see the transfer rates of Top-20 US News Ranked national universities.

SchoolRankingTransfer Acceptance RateNumber of Transfer Students Admitted
Princeton University1⁠<1%14
Columbia University25%176
Harvard University2<1%17
Yale University52%22
Stanford University64%86
University of Chicago65%33
University of Pennsylvania88%197
Duke University96%76
Johns Hopkins University911%156
Northwestern University915%375
Dartmouth College1328%78
Brown University143%81
Vanderbilt University1437%640
Washington U in St. Louis1426%292
Cornell University1718%872
Rice University1712%101
University of Notre Dame1943%319

More facts regarding transfer admission:

  • 37% of students transferred at least once before earning their bachelor’s degree. 40% of the transfer students originated from a two-year community college. Transfer students are very common in the US.
  • Transfer students have more versatile experiences and bring diversity to a college campus, graduate at a higher rate than freshman admits, and adjusts better to an independent lifestyle.
  • Get a prestigious college name and save more than $5,000 a year compared to attending a four-year public school. Save even more if a student successfully transfers to a four-year top private school like USC or NYU.
  • However, transfer students have less time to make adjustment to school campuses and their resources. Sometimes, they have difficult join with their peer groups since they join in the junior year when most students who started as a freshman already formed cohorts and interest groups.

I transferred from Pasadena City College to UC Berkeley and have been providing college transfer counseling for 4 years.

If you can prepare yourself for the transfer and plan ahead for the transferred college, you won’t miss too much.

The upside outweighs the downside. 

Are you considering transferring from community college to your dream university?

  • Speak to a counselor of your college and ask for the general requirement for college transfer, no later than the second semester of senior year in high school.
  • Enroll in the first class in the community college during high school. I suggest English or Maths first.
  • Use the Perfect 2-Year Transfer Timeline to keep track of your progress and To-Dos.
  • Get 60+ transferable credits and apply for college transfer applications in 2 years.