Skip to main content
Tulane Home


The Value of Transferring From a Community College to a University

Community college transfer student working in a university classroom - Tulane School of Professional Advancement

Having a college degree can undoubtedly put you in a better position to earn more money, have better job security, and help you compete in today's unpredictable job market. Fortunately, there are more diverse paths toward earning a college degree today than ever before, especially with the increased attention paid to online learning in the last few years. Of the many options available to current and prospective students, transferring from a community college to a four-year university is among the most valuable because of what it can offer your wallet, your professional development, and your personal college experience. Here are some of the benefits of transferring from a community college to a university program like those offered at the Tulane School of Professional Advancement (Tulane SoPA).

Fewer Expenses

There's no getting around it: College can be expensive. With tuition, fees, books, room and board, and a whole range of additional costs, going to school (or back to school) for a degree is often a serious personal decision and financial calculation. It can be even harder for non-traditional students who also have to adjust their professional and family schedules to attend classes and keep up with schoolwork. In the majority of circumstances, going to community college costs significantly less money than attending a four-year university from the very beginning, perhaps even less than half as much. Getting your essential courses and prerequisites out of the way at a community college can save you both time and money before you transfer to a four-year university. Advisors at Tulane SoPA can help you learn which classes you should take at a community college before transferring.

Staying Closer to Home

As their name suggests, community colleges are often located in smaller towns or in more close-knit communities. Instead of bearing the costs associated with paying rent, moving to a new location, or covering room and board fees, transfer students from community colleges to universities can often study and live closer to home, which means staying closer to their families, friends, jobs, and emotional support networks. Moving away for school can mean a massive upheaval for many who decide to go to college; staying close to the place you call home can give you the stability and solid foundation you need to learn and finish your course of study.

Community colleges also often have more flexible class scheduling than four-year universities, with courses available in shorter periods of time and outside of working hours. This allows you to fit your coursework around your busy professional, family, and personal schedule, which will, in turn, increase your chances of sticking with a program and finishing with a degree. Today, one of the major ways that community colleges offer flexible scheduling is through online learning, which has seen significant growth due to technological advances and the COVID-19 pandemic. Tulane SoPA offers students many online, on campus, and hybrid learning options.

Discovering Your Interests

Community colleges also serve as a more gradual entryway into higher education, which allows students to take their time with coursework and explore a range of different areas of study. Instead of feeling as though you need to decide immediately which subjects you want to pursue and where your professional goals will take you, you may use community college as a springboard to several diverse interests and job prospects. It is not uncommon that new college students (whether at a community college or at a four-year university) change their majors and pursue different interests, and attending a community college on your own time and on a more flexible financial level can ensure that you find the right course of study that matches your personal and professional goals before you transfer to a university. Tulane SoPA offers a variety of programs for students to choose from.

Deciding Whether College Is for You

In addition to being more financially feasible and allowing you to explore multiple interests, starting your path to a degree at a community college can also help you to determine whether higher education is right for you in the first place. Community college courses will immediately give you a taste of what it's like to engage in university-level class discussions, projects, exams, and expectations. Some students may discover that their professional and personal goals will only require schooling at a community college level, while others may find out that additional education isn't right for them at all. Without all the financial and time requirements of a four-year university, community college offers students a chance to engage in college-level discourse and learning without having to commit to years of schooling or one specific path to a degree. At Tulane SoPA, we understand that a four-year degree may not be right for everybody. That is why we also offer professional certificates perfect for those looking to retool their careers without committing to a four-year program.

Having a Close-knit Community

With thousands of students, sprawling campuses, and long-ingrained cultures and reputations, full-scale universities can often seem intimidating, especially for first-time students. Community colleges can offer a similar educational value with all the benefits of a smaller, more close-knit community. When you attend a community college, you're more likely to be in classes with students from similar backgrounds, including those who work full time, have family responsibilities, or are unsure of their own educational and professional goals. Being part of a tighter community can also give you more one-on-one time with your instructors and fellow students, which means a more personalized early college experience. Similar to community colleges, Tulane SoPA is full of non-traditional college students. The combination of different types of students is what makes our community so special.

Having a Greater Sense of Belonging

Over several decades, community colleges have also been especially valuable to underrepresented groups and communities. By providing flexible and more affordable opportunities, community colleges serve as an important entry point to higher education for minority groups and first-generation college students. In fact, students from historically underrepresented communities have reported feeling a higher sense of belonging at community colleges than at four-year universities, likely due to smaller class sizes, more personalized attention, and the ability to learn alongside other students from similar backgrounds. Having such a strong foundation can make a significant impact when students later transfer to a larger university or enter the workforce. The flexible programs at Tulane SoPA make the transfer from a community college to a four-year university feel seamless. Our class sizes are also smaller than traditional universities, which can help students feel a greater sense of belonging.

Making a Smooth Transition

Jumping from a small, intimate community college setting to a larger university doesn't have to be an intimidating process. At the Tulane School of Professional Advancement, we make it as simple as possible to transfer to one of our bachelor's degrees, master's degrees, or professional certificate programs. As a transfer student, you can use up to 60 credits for an undergraduate program and nine credits for a graduate program, and in addition to being able to earn a degree in less time and for less money, you can benefit from waived application fees, tuition discounts, and access to personalized advising throughout your time as a student. You can also jump-start your education by using prior work and life experience credits, including from time spent working at a job, engaging in community service, and completing military training.

Offering multiple bachelor's degree, master's degree, and certificate options in a wide range of study areas, Tulane's School of Professional Advancement may be your first step toward a college degree and a rewarding new career. Even if you have never attended a college or university before, or if you are a transfer student from a community college, we have dedicated advisors ready to assist you and support your success.

How to Transfer to Tulane SoPA

Transfer students to Tulane SoPA can begin by sending all transcripts from previously attended colleges and universities. Once we have received your information, our advisors can help you to determine which courses will transfer and what your best path forward will be. Learn more about how you can transfer to Tulane SoPA by requesting more information today.

Request more information about Tulane SoPA's programs and admissions process


By submitting this form, you agree to receive information about the Tulane School of Professional Advancement’s programs via email, phone and/or text. You may opt out at any time.

All Blogs