Resources Scholarships & Expert Advice For Students Switching Schools
Imagine choosing a school only to discover its not the right fit, or attending a school thats an excellent fit and suddenly having to relocate due to family or work obligations. Today, one-third of all college students transfer at least once before graduation. This guide lays out the necessary steps and goals to make the transfer process easier.
Is 15 Credits And A Job Too Much
Student should not work. 10-15 hours per week 15-20 hours per week 20-30 hours per week Average Course load: 15 Credit hours is the average load per semester that must be carried in order to graduate in 4 years without going to school in the summer. Only students with a 3.0 or higher should request an overload.
How Long Are Four Semesters In College
If you go to school at a college or university on semester schedules, then four semesters is usually two spring and two fall semesters.
If youre a full-time student who takes between 12 and 15-credit hours a semester, you may earn enough credits to be awarded your associates degree after four semesters.
This isnt always the case, of course. For example, if you swapped majors midway through college or if you took a lot of extra fun classes that didnt go towards your degree, then you might not have earned the right credits to get your degree.
However, if youre taking classes relevant to your degree and dont swap disciplines, then four semesters two years is often enough to earn an associates. If you took full-time classes in the summer, as well, you might even graduate early.
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Consideration #: When Are Certain Classes Offered
Logistics are also an important consideration when choosing classes. There may be certain days of the week or months of the year when you have more time to devote to your community college classes.
As mentioned above, it’s important to make sure you have enough free time in your schedule before you enroll in a community college course. By choosing classes that fill well in your schedule, you will make your community college experience less stressful and more enjoyable.
Looking through your calendar may help you decide which community college classes to take.
One of the single most important parts of your college application is what classes you choose to take in high school . Our team of PrepScholar admissions experts have compiled their knowledge into this single guide to planning out your high school course schedule. We’ll advise you on how to balance your schedule between regular and honors/AP/IB courses, how to choose your extracurriculars, and what classes you can’t afford not to take.
College Transfer Student Scholarships
While transfer students wont have access to first-year scholarships, there are many scholarships available specifically for transfer students. Students can check with their anticipated schools scholarship pages or take advantage of some of the national scholarships for transfer students below.
The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation offers up to $40,000 for approximately 45 deserving transfer students, making it the largest private scholarship award available for two-year and community college transfer students. The award applies to tuition, fees, books, living expenses and more.
SPONSORING ORGANIZATION: Jack Kent Cooke Foundation
AMOUNT: Up to $40,000 per year
DEADLINE: October of each year
This popular scholarship is awarded to up to 200 students, with 25 of those scholarships earmarked for those in the military. Students must be members of Phi Theta Kappa, the national honor society for two-year students.
SPONSORING ORGANIZATION: Coca-Cola
An excellent example of the possible scholarships for transfer students through their transferring institution, Loyola University offers merit-based scholarships for those who are transferring to pursue their bachelors degree.
SPONSORING ORGANIZATION: Loyola University
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How Many Credit Hours Should I Take A Semester
Aside from being knowledgeable of the common question what do credits mean in college?, its important to understand how to plan each semester accordingly to ensure you graduate on time. When it comes to choosing how many credit hours to take in a semester, there are various factors to consider. An important factor is a student’s availability. When entering college, a newfound opportunity or need for a job can ultimately affect a student’s schedule. A student’s major or minor can also impact this decision, depending on how much room the program grants.
College Express shares advice stating, “Many colleges recommend taking around 15 credits per semester, which totals 120 credits after four years. Most bachelor’s degree programs require 120 credits to graduate.” By taking this amount, students can feel confident that they are on the right track to graduation. However, attending college is a big step, and it is more than understandable for a student to take fewer classes in the first semester to minimize feeling overwhelmed. After the first semester, students can adjust the number of hours based on what works best.
Whatever that amount is, it is essential to keep in mind that to be considered a full-time student, 12 credit hours are needed. This amount enables students to receive financial aid and indicates how long a student’s college career will be.
How Much Time Should You Commit To An Online Degree
Online learning requires organization and self-discipline. You may have to fit study around work and family, setting your own schedule to make sure you get assignments in on time.
If you are enrolled in an asynchronous program, there is no designated class time to prompt you to study and stay on track. If you’re in a synchronous program, you will have set class meeting times to help guide your time management.
How will you know how much time you’ll need to commit to your online coursework?
That depends on whether you are pursuing an online bachelor’s degree or an online master’s degree.
How long should a bachelor’s-level course take per week?
Most college courses are 3 credits. Traditionally, in 3-credit face-to-face undergraduate courses you are in class 3 hours per week. You should probably allow 3 hours per week to read/listen to the online content for each course you take. This doesn’t include assignments outside of class.
For each course, you should probably estimate:
- 3 hours per week reading the content online
- 4-5 hours doing the related readings, papers, etc.
- Total: 8 hours per course per week
- Or a little more than 1 hour per day per course
How much time will a master’s-level course take?
Graduate study is more demanding than undergraduate study, so you should plan for 3 hours offline prep for every hour you spend in class.
For each course, you should probably estimate:
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Is 15 Credits A Semester Enough
Colleges also benefit economically from encouraging students to take 15 credits. Students who take less than 15 credits a semester are already on the five-year plan for their bachelors degree and the three-year plan for their associate degree, said Stan Jones, president of Complete College America.
Transferring From Community College To University
Students who attend community college with the intention of transferring to a university should prepare early and make an academic plan that accounts for their time in both schools. Getting a copy of their schools articulation agreement can be extremely helpful for transfer students.
When planning to transfer, students should ask the following questions:
- Does their community college and intended university have any transfer agreements in place?
- If yes, will admission to the transfer university be guaranteed?
- Does their community college have a transfer degree that makes for a seamless transition between schools?
- Which classes transfer and which do not?
For students transferring between schools that dont have any transfer agreements in place, planning is particularly important. Students should pay extra attention to course equivalencies between their schools so they can ensure as many of their credits transfer as possible. They will also want to be aware of their intended universitys core curriculum, GPA and transfer requirements some schools will not accept transfer students who dont meet credit minimums or who havent taken specific core classes. Communicating regularly with advisors from both schools can help transfer students keep track of requirements and transferable credits.
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How Long Are Two Semesters In College
How much credit you receive for two semesters in college depends entirely on the college youre attending and what type of scheduling system it uses.
Semesters: At these institutions, two full-time semesters will give you one year of college. Youll be halfway toward your goal of an associates degree.
Trimesters: Two terms on this system will be 2/3rds of a year. In order to receive a full year of credit at a school like this, youd need to take the summer courses, as well.
Quarters: Because schools on the quarterly system require you to attend four sessions as a full-time student in order to receive a years worth of credit, two sessions at these schools will often give you the least amount of college credit.
Attending only two terms on the quarterly system means youve only received a half a year of college credit.
Accelerated Courses: Accelerated courses dont necessarily count credit using words such as semesters or terms. This means there is really no way to attend two semesters of an accelerated course.
Transferring: Youll Lose Usually
How can this be: Most students need more than four years to graduate yet end up taking, and paying for, many more credits than they need. Colleges and universities usually require 120 credits for a bachelors degree but students graduate with about 135, on average, according to data compiled by Complete College America, a nonprofit research and advocacy group.
Some states figures are even higher. Students at regional state colleges in New Mexico graduate with an average of 155 credits.
One reason is the difficulty of transferring credits from another university or a community college. A third of students transfer at one point in their college careers. Nearly 40 percent of them get no credit for any of the courses they have completed and lose 27 credits on average or about a year of school, according to a 2014 federal study.
Many colleges have developed articulation agreements to honor credits earned from other institutions. But often that isnt enough. A university may accept the credits, but the department of the students major may not and at most colleges, the decision rests with the department.
Unfortunately, the only way to know for sure whether credits will transfer to a new college is to ask. Most administrators will want to review a syllabus from your former school for comparison. And make sure to ask about credits within a major.
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Are Online Semesters Shorter
When it comes to required credits, online classes are the same as traditional classes.
The only difference is that youre taking your classes remotely.
Well, there are colleges out there that offer accelerated programs.
Accelerated degree programs are shorter courses but with more pressure. They still require you to complete the required credits to earn your degree, but you have to study with an overload.
It means you have to get more than 18 credits per semester, which translates to more studying hours.
Most of these programs guarantee that you will have your degree after three years. Some of them promise less if you can crunch in more credits.
Benefit #: You Can Take More Advanced Classes
If your high school doesn’t offer certain advanced classes, taking them at a community college can be a great way to strengthen your transcript. If your high school doesn’t offer many or even any AP classes, you may be concerned that your school’s lack of challenging classes will put you behind other students when applying to and starting college.
You may also be particularly strong in a certain subject and want to take an advanced course in it, either because you have taken all your high school’s classes in that subject, or they are not challenging enough for you. At my high school, each year, several students who had taken AP Calculus as juniors would take Calculus III at the local community college to gain more math skills and be better prepared for college math classes.
Taking these classes at a community college while you are still in high school can help prepare you for college classes and possibly allow you to skip some introductory classes once you get to college.
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Falling Behind: Three Strikes And
College has always been a lot to manage, but these days students are juggling more distractions than ever. They work more hours outside of class, they are more likely to commute and have family responsibilities, and now theres social media vying for their attention. All of these factors can distract from schoolwork, requiring much tighter time management. Its hard to cope.
Many of our students did great in high school, but they come here and dont realize that you cant just study the night before for a test, said Zulmaly Ramirez, an academic advocate for first-year students at the University of South Florida. They used to spend 80 percent of their academic time in class and 20 percent on homework. In college, thats reversed.
Springfield College in Massachusetts wants students to take more responsibility. It has raised the stakes in an effort to force students to manage their time better administrators call it the three strikes rule. Students on academic probation must meet weekly with a coach, who helps them prioritize their work and connects them with tutoring services. Three missed meetings are grounds for expulsion.
Class Length Based Off College Units
Before discussing how college units impact the length of a class, it is essential to understand what college units are and how they work. As defined by ThoughtCo., “A “college unit of credit” is a number value assigned to each class offered at a college or university.” The purpose of these units is to measure the value of a class. Several factors determine this value.
As stated by College Express, “All college classes are not created equal.” Often determined by the level, rigor, or the number of hours spent, one class can be worth more credit units than others. It is common to find that the harder or higher a class is, the more units of credit it will be worth.
ThoughtCo. breaks this down further by stating, “Typically, a 1-unit course corresponds to classes that meet for one hour of lecture, discussion, or lab time per week. As follows, a course that meets twice a week for one hour would correspond to a 2-unit course, and a class meeting twice for 1.5 hours would be a 3-unit class.” The more frequently a class meets, the more likely it will be worth more units of credit. In most cases, college classes are 3 or 4 units.
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How College Transfers Work
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Breaks In College Semesters
Each college and university plans its academic calendar differently. Not every school will have the same academic year, so not only will the length of semesters differ, but breaks will as well. So, if you are hoping to go on a break with your friend from a different school, you should check to see if your breaks line up.
During the fall semester, you will have a few breaks you can look forward to. The first break is a midterm break, also known as fall break. This is usually a four- to five-day break in early October that gives students a chance to relax after studying hard for their midterm exams. However, check with your school if a midterm break is offered because not every school will have one.
After you return from your fall break, you will probably be looking forward to Thanksgiving. Every school offers a Thanksgiving break, allowing students to return home to their families and enjoy a great meal surrounded by family and friends.
Unfortunately, not every student has the opportunity to return home for Thanksgiving. Some domestic students may not have a place to go home to and some international students may not be able to go home due to an increase in flight prices. Fortunately for them, colleges usually offer a Thanksgiving meal on campus for students who are unable to go home.
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When Should You Take Community College Classes
You should think carefully about what semester and year you want to enroll in a community college class. It’s recommended that you don’t take community college classes until you are at least a junior in high school. By the time you are an upperclassman, you will likely have had more challenging courses and will be more prepared for college-level classes.
If you take a community college class early on in high school, you may find it overwhelming or too challenging. This can cause you to get a low grade that won’t get you many of the benefits listed above.
Another important decision is whether to take a community college class during the school year or over the summer. Most community colleges offer both options, though not all courses may be offered each semester. If you are getting high school credit or replacing a high school class, then you will likely take the community college class during the school year.
If there are certain times of the year when you are less busy , you may want to take a community class then so that you can spend more time on it. However, if the community college class you are interested in isn’t earning you high school credit or replacing a high school class, it may be easier for you to take it during the summer. Taking a community college class during the summer gives you more time to concentrate on it because you won’t have to balance a full high school course load at the same time.