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The timeline below represents a trajectory for students who enroll in 15 hours each
semester and seek to complete their associate's degree in two years. It is not unusual,
however, for part-time students to take longer than two years to complete the degree,
or for students to move on before earning their associate degree. Keeping each scenario
in mind will allow for optimal advising about timing of course work and the transfer
For those who move on before completing their NWACC degree, as long as they have completed 24 or more transferrable hours, then they are eligible for what is called "reverse transfer." The "reverse transfer" process allows a student to complete the remaining hours of their associate degree course work at the four-year institution and then transfer it back to NWACC for completion and conferring of the degree. This option is advantageous for anyone seeking to demonstrate completion of a milestone on the way to completing a four-year degree.
Transitioning in the Middle of the Year & Financial Aid
Students who transfer in the middle of an academic year must notify the NWACC Financial
Aid Office that they wish to cancel their aid at NWACC for the coming semester, and
switch the financial aid disbursement to their new school by adding the new school
code to the FAFSA.
Students who've received credit by examination must contact the College Board to have all test scores sent to the new institution. Students also need to request all transcripts from previous institutions of higher education be sent to each school's Admission office as part of the application process.
First semester at NWACC
- Discuss your interests, ability, and career goals with your academic advisor. NWACC employs experienced academic advisors who are well versed in understanding transfer information and helping students navigate the process.
- Begin research about the colleges and universities you might like to attend. Check out their web sites and make sure that they offer the program (major) in which you are interested. Be sure to explore admission requirements, location, size, degree programs/majors, cost, scholarship opportunities, academic and social environment, internship opportunities, and job outlook for graduates.
- Learn more about general education requirements at four-year institutions and the freshman/sophomore courses needed to enter your desired major. Be sure you understand the differences in transfer if you graduate with a transfer degree versus transferring before you graduate.
- Attend on camps and virtual college visits and fairs coordinated by the Transfer Services at NWACC.
- Focus on your schoolwork and grades. For many students, starting at a community college provides an opportunity to begin again. Although most admission requirements for transfer students include 24 transferrable hours and a 2.0 cumulative gpa, some academic programs have much higher admission requirements, particularly in the healthcare professions. Also, there are scholarships specifically for transfer students, and so a strong gpa is something to shoot for with hopes of securing funding for pursuit of a bachelor's degree.
Second semester at NWACC
- Continue meeting with your advisor regularly to keep them up-to-date on your progress
for narrowing down where you'd like to transfer.
While doing research, develop a "short list" of four or five schools that match your goals, priorities, and academic record.
- Identify important deadlines at your community college and at your transfer institution, such as the date to apply for graduation, the deadline for applying for admission, and the semester dates.
- The best strategy for selecting course work each semester includes focusing on general education requirements. Doing so allows for concentrating on completing academic major requirements once you transfer to the four-year institution of your choice. There are a number of instances whereby students who move to a four-year institution will have fulfilled the general education course requirements with the two-year degree in hand.
- Visit the college representatives who come to NWACC regularly and are available in the Student Center. This gives you an opportunity to discuss questions at length. Composing a list of questions will come in handy during this conversation.
- Because nothing gives a better sense of what a campus is like than a personal visit, students should plan to take advantage of "preview" and "discovery" days. These days allow prospective transfer students to learn more about the atmosphere by way of campus tours and information sharing through formal academic presentations.
- Become familiar with scholarship criteria, and start searching for other sources of financial aid. Many times you can find scholarships by searching for resources that are directly linked to your specific degree program.
Third semester at NWACC
- Review your academic transcript with your advisor. Make sure the information is accurate and complete. Especially be on the lookout for any concurrent, CLEP, or AP credit that might not be documented.
- Schedule an interview at any schools you haven't already visited. If you can't visit in person, talk to admissions staff via phone or online. It's also helpful to contact professors, students, and alumni for questions on courses and campus life.
- Locate online applications for each school you hope to attend. Determine if there are any special application requirements beyond simply submitting the application, transcripts, and immunization records.
Fourth semester at NWACC
- File your FAFSA as soon as possible after January 1.
Complete required course work in your community college program of study and apply for graduation.
- Submit your graduation application.
- Consult with the transfer advisors at your intended schools before you make a final decision. He or she can help answer your questions and clarify details that might affect your choice.
- Double-check deadlines for deposits, registration forms, and other materials, and get them in on time.
- Take advantage of orientation programs and other opportunities for transfer students at your new school. Meeting other transfer students and getting acquainted with campus life will help ease the transition.