Your checklist

Develop your skills


Community college lets you explore new subjects, participate in new activities, and build your academic skills. With the additional freedom that comes with being a college student, you’ll want to develop your organizational and time management skills. Take advantage of support services available, such as writing and tutoring centers, study groups, and mentoring programs, and meet with your professors during office hours.

Pro tip: Building relationships with your professors ensures success in the classroom AND allows them to get to know you better as a person and a student. In the future, you may need a professor or two who are willing to write you a letter of recommendation for a program, scholarship, college, or job application.



It’s never too early to start planning for your future. If transferring to a four-year institution is your ultimate goal, it’s important to enroll in courses that fulfill general education and major requirements. Choosing the right courses will save you time and money and keep you on track for timely graduation.

Meet with your advisors


You don’t have to navigate community college alone. Your academic and transfer advisors can help you choose your courses and major and introduce you to the world of transfer - from discovering programs in your areas of interest at four-year institutions to understanding transfer articulation agreements.



There are lots of colleges and universities out there that want students just like you. Meet with college admission representatives who visit your campus, attend college fairs, and make a list of what you are looking for in a four-year institution. Schedule regular meetings with your advisors to help you narrow down your list of schools.

Pro tip: Visit the Explore Colleges section of our website to learn about the more than 700 colleges and universities that accept Common App for transfer.

Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and scholarship applications


If you plan to apply for financial aid, file your FAFSA as early as possible beginning October 1. Some colleges will also ask you to complete the CSS Profile. Don’t forget to research scholarship opportunities, too. It might surprise you how many scholarships exist for transfer students!

Pro tip: Did you know community college transfer students can apply to The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation's Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship directly from within Common App for transfer?



Once you’ve finalized your college list, it’s time to apply. Make sure you understand application requirements, deadlines, and fees for each program you plan to apply to. Reach out to admissions counselors at the schools you are applying to when you have questions or want to learn more.

Pro tip: In the Apply section of our website, you’ll find helpful resources like an Application Guide and Dictionary to support you through the process. And the Transfer Requirements Grid lists important details about the application requirements for Common App member institutions.