LaGuardia Community College | City University of New York
Selective Institutions Transfer Timeline: Less Than a Year to Your Dream School
For Fall Transfers: We begin with June of the previous year, and end with March of the transfer year. This is a process. Submit to it; only then will you benefit.
• Start identifying four-year institutions that interest you, especially those with articulation agreements with your community college, or admission initiatives aimed at recruiting top community college or non-traditional students (eg. Georgetown’s Preferred Nomination Program, Smith College, Mt Holyoke College).
• Work with your advisor to plan your coursework so as to meet your academic and your transfer goals. If you know which major interests you, get a transfer guide for your major so that you can match your required coursework to the pre-requisites and requirements of your transfer institution. (Note: You don't need to have a major as a community college student in order to transfer.)
• Begin to research colleges and universities that offer academic programs and activities that you want to pursue, and start contacting them for admissions guidelines, a catalog, financial aid information, and all deadlines for housing, financial aid, and so on. Get on their mailing lists.
• See if there are any tests such as the SAT/ACT that you will need to take for the institutions that interest you. International students might need to take the TOEFL examination.
• Attend a College Transfer Fair and speak with a transfer advisor or arrange for a meeting with an advisor at the four-year college to discuss your transfer goals and plans.
• Visit as many of your target universities as possible.
• Visit the Transfer Services Center in B-215. They have many books on transferring, writing the personal essay, catalogs on many schools, and you can check for articulation agreements or informal arrangements between LaGuardia and 4-year institutions.
• Create an account in early August on commonapp.org and also check to see which colleges on your list have an independent, online application system. Add all your schools on the common application and begin filling out the basics. Familiarize yourself with the Common App; view the tutorial video as this will help immensely later on.
• Start attending transfer workshops and transfer events at the college and at 4-year institutions (eg. Columbia's GS and NYU's CCTOP program run regular admissions workshops).
• Explore resources available to you for researching college transfer articulation agreements, and start contacting the transfer offices of four-year institutions.
• Attend a transfer workshop and speak with an advisor at both your community college and your proposed four-year institution, if you haven't already done so, to make sure you're on track for transferring credits!
• Focus in on those colleges where you plan to apply; email or phone the admissions office or transfer office with your questions. If you know your major, contact your prospective major department to see if there are specific departmental admission requirements. You have to be pro-active in getting this type of information.
• Begin work on your “Common App” general personal statement. Work closely with an English professor and advisor on writing your statement.
• Get your application materials and know the application deadlines for the transfer college(s) to which you are applying. Make a Word document with all schools and their deadlines arranged in order (applications are due usually between March 1st and April 15th; CUNY is February 1st). You will also include this list of deadlines in your letter of recommendation packets for your letter writers (see Letters of Recommendation page on this website).
• Make sure to revise your Common App personal statement.
• Visit the Honors House in M 222 and speak to HSAC members for transfer peer support. Reach out to your faculty advisors for guidance.
• Attend all relevant Fall transfer workshops ("Like" the Honors Program LaGuardia Facebook Page to get workshop notifications, or check this website's updates).
• Start researching financial aid and scholarship opportunities. Begin to apply for scholarships, especially transfer scholarships. Many scholarship application deadlines are due from late Fall until February, so you need to get on this as soon as possible. See our Scholarship Guide.
• Revise your personal statement again.
• Create separate folders (USB or binder) for all schools, if not already created. On the Common Application, check each school's supplemental essays. Save each essay topic in a blank Word document as the header with the schools so that you can keep track of the different essays that are required across the board. Do this for all your schools. Don't get worried if you see that you have about 25-35 essays (15-20 schools will require it) to write. Many are repetitive prompts, so you can recycle your essays and tailor them to each institution.
• Create recommendation packets (Recommendation Letters Guidelines).
• Request letters of recommendation from your professors, advisors, employers, and etc. with your packets in hand.
• Supplemental essay preparation: Set your goal for the number of essays to complete for each week of the 8 weeks in January and February.