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Can You Transfer from a 4-Year School to a Community College?

Choosing which school you will attend to pursue your education and career goals is a big decision, and you might not get it right the first time.  In fact, this 2015 study found that nearly 38% of college students transfer to another institution during their college career.  So if you find yourself wondering if you are at the right school, you’re not alone.  Many assume that students will transfer from 4-year school to 4-year school or 2-year school to 4-year school.  But students also can transfer from 4-year schools to 2-year community colleges.  Transferring to a community college has many benefits from student outcomes to your pocketbook.  Check out some of the benefits you can experience when you make the decision to transfer from the university setting to a community college. 

Save Money When You Transfer

When it comes down to it, money is a major factor when choosing a college.  In Iowa, the average cost of 4-year institutions was $24,612 for the 2018-19 school year.  Students at Iowa Valley pay about $4,100 in tuition.  If your finances have changed during your time at a university, community colleges are a great alternative.  You can take your first two years at Iowa Valley then transfer effortlessly to complete your bachelor’s degree.  To save even more money, check out a focused program that prepares you to go straight to the workforce.  Ellsworth and Marshalltown have programs designed to give you the training to succeed on day one of the job! 

Discover What You Want to Study

You may have had an idea of what you wanted to do for your career when you graduated high school.  Maybe you weren’t sure but had an expectation that you go to a 4-year school.  Regardless if you had an idea of what you wanted to study or if you weren’t quite sure, community colleges are a smart way to discover exactly what you want to study, and ultimately what you want to do for your career.  At Marshalltown Community College and Ellsworth Community College, you can take a wide variety of classes from humanities, math, and sciences, arts, or language.  You get hands-on experience in your field before students at 4-year schools.  This allows you to solidify your interest area with confidence. 

Individualized Instruction

It can be difficult to adjust to large lecture halls with hundreds of people, especially if you are from a smaller school.  Ellsworth and Marshalltown students have a 17:1 student to faculty ratio for large classes.  This makes it easier for students to get to know their instructors and vice versa.  Better relationshipscloser instruction from instructors, and hands-on learning in these settings lead to better learning outcomes. 

How to Transfer

The process to transfer to Iowa Valley is pretty straight forward, and our Admissions teams are happy to help walk you through.  The first step is to notify your current school’s registrar that you are interested in transferring.  Then you’ll fill our application for admission.  (Check out Ellsworth’s HERE and Marshalltown’s HERE).  Once you apply for admission you’ll need to send in your transcripts.  Then you can talk with an advisor, register for classes, and apply for scholarships.   


If you’re ready to transfer from your 4-year school and see all that community colleges have to offer contact Admissions today! 

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