The benefits of transferring universities after two years
In United States universities today, approximately one third of students1 will transfer during their undergraduate life. Although students transfer for a variety of reasons, because the majority of admissions offices include transfers in their yearly enrollment plans, students can use this process to reach their academic goals. While many students elect to transfer after the first year, there are key advantages to completing two years of study before transferring.
The majority of universities will accept up to 60 credits from other institutions, but some programs require 60 credits, or two years' coursework as a minimum requirement for a student to be eligible to enroll. Among others, this is the case with the University of California and California State University systems, as these schools are linked closely with California community colleges. But a student doesn't need to graduate from a partner program to be eligible. Instead, they need to reach the minimum of 60 transferrable credits at their university, including a record of all courses required for admission.
Record of Academic Success
Students who didn't do well enough in high school to gain admission to their top program can take general education courses and begin exploring their major at a less competitive school. Once they have shown a record of success in college level courses and can gain a valuable recommendation from one of their professors, this may allow them a 'second chance' to reach their dream school. College courses will carry greater weight in the minds of admissions officers, and a high college GPA will outweigh a so-so high-school GPA. This is especially important for international students who may have not been eligible for admission to some schools because of course requirements not offered in their high school. They can make up these requirements and show English mastery in the process.
The majority of universities will not require SAT/ACT scores for individuals who can show a certain number of credits. This can vary from 24–60, depending on the school. International students may not have to submit TOEFL/IELTS scores because some schools waive these requirements. Even if language proficiency is required, students will have two years to work on TOEFL, which should allow them to unlock their target score.
The Associate’s Degree
With a little careful planning, students can complete an Associate's Degree in their first two years of study at their first school. This will show transfer schools that they have followed an advising pattern and made sure to make their credits count. They can then bring the credits with them to the next school, but they will also receive a degree from the first school, which may enable them to work in certain field. If a student is eligible for employment in the US, this can be attractive, because it can allow a student to work a good job while still earning their four-year degree. For International Students who may not be able to work in the US, they will be able to show two degrees on their resume in the future instead of one, so it can help them stand out.