District News

Benefits of a Community College Transfer Path


People ask, “Why should I attend a community college first instead of going straight to a university?" The answer is simple. The advantages community colleges offer students are numerous: low-cost tuition/fees, campuses close to home, small class size, and the most significant benefit is the opportunity to transfer to four-year institutions. Attending a community college first provides students seamless transfer prospects through transfer agreements and Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT) programs. 

Most students begin their college career with a goal in mind. Such as working to earn a degree with the goal of transferring to a University of California (UC), Cal State University (CSU), or private university. Starting at a community college is an affordable path to accomplish general education requirements, earn and associate degree, and prepare students for transferring to complete a bachelor's degree. Community college students can explore and move through pathway programs at Moreno Valley College (MVC), Norco College (NC), or Riverside City College (RCC) before transferring to a four-year institution at a much higher tuition. 

Associate Degree for Transfer

RCCD colleges offer nearly 50 ADT programs. Students earning an ADT are guaranteed admission to CSU, select UC, and participating private universities throughout California, as well as many out-of-state universities. Younger students can even start on the ADT path while in high school by taking dual enrollment courses. 

Students majoring in programs that are impacted or full at universities are encouraged to enroll at a community college first, completing their first two years of coursework and then transferring to their dream university with junior standing. Courses taken as part of the ADT program transfer and fulfill general education requirements, at a much lower cost. 

Transfer Success  

A key selling point of community colleges is confirmed in the data. According to a Forbes article, students who transfer from community colleges complete degrees at a higher rate and are more likely to graduate than their high school peers who directly enroll in a university. It's in the numbers. For those whose dream university is UCLA, the transfer rate to UCLA of students in the honors program at an RCCD college is 80%. 

Transfer Agreements

Six University of California (UC) campuses offer guaranteed admission to students from all California community colleges through the Transfer Agreement Guarantee (TAG). By participating in a TAG program, students can ensure their admission to a specific UC campus. 

Community College is most often the best option for students. Students can explore careers and interests, take classes in-person or online, and get to know their professors, all at an affordable cost. 

The opportunities offered at community colleges are endless.