It is getting late in the admission season for current high school seniors and I am still getting calls from students who haven’t applied to any colleges. While there are some colleges still accepting applications, for many of these students, community colleges might be the best option. But, before choosing a community college, students need to understand articulation agreements.
An articulation agreement is an agreement between a 2 year college and a 4 year college that explains what credits will be accepted at the 4 year college. Obviously, if you are starting at a 2 year college you want to have all of your credits transfer to a 4 year college. Historically, however, credits have not always transferred so these agreements came into play.
Students need to ask the 2 year college they have an interest in what 4 year colleges they have an articulation agreement with. Then you need to check with the 4 year college and confirm the agreement. You need to ask exactly what credits will transfer. Will it be all credits or only certain credits? If only certain credits transfer, how do you determine whether the credits from a class you might take will transfer?
Articulation agreements are not necessary to transfer credits from a 2 year college to a 4 year college, but there is more certainty about what credits will transfer if an articulation agreement is in place.
I have written before about some of the problems that can occur when transferring from a 2 year college to a 4 year college. Articulation agreements can help address some of those problems. The biggest thing you have to understand if you plan is to transfer from a 2 year college to a 4 year college is that you must ask lots of question, particularly from the 4 year college that you might wish to transfer to.