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Articles / Applying to College / New SAT's for Community College Transfer?

Nov. 27, 2015

New SAT's for Community College Transfer?

Question: Hello, I am currently in a Community College and I want to transfer after one year. I’m finishing up my first semester and currently have all A’s and I want to finish that way, and I’m taking some high maths and english courses. But in high school my freshman and sophomore year I didn’t do to well but I did pretty good in my junior and senior year. When I took my SATs I got a 1250 and I was wondering if that was going to effect me when I am applying to other colleges to transfer? If so should I retake them?

Admission officials at your potential transfer colleges will pay far more attention to your college grades than to your high school grades, especially those from 9th and 10th grades, so you’re in good shape there.

Although SAT scores don’t play as big a role in transfer admission as they often do in freshman admission, they can count. Is your 1250 SAT score from just the Critical Reading + Math sections of the test or from the Writing section as well?  If it’s the former, then there’s probably no need to re-test. But if you got 1250 on all THREE sections of the test combined, it would be wise to try once more … IF you think you can improve (which, most likely, you will  since you’re taking challenging English and Math courses now) and IF your transfer college requires SAT scores from its applicants.

You also might want to consider spending one more year at your community college rather than trying to transfer soon.  There tend to be greater  transfer opportunities for community college students who have completed two years and earned an Associate’s degree than there are for applicants who have only completed one year. In particular, many four-year universities have “Articulation Agreements” with two-year colleges that guarantee (or at least facilitate) transfer admission to students with an Associates degree who have fulfilled certain course requirements.

Also, since your academic record has risen steadily since you began high school, an additional strong year under your belt at the CC will make you a more attractive candidate to your prospective transfer schools. Moreover, some four-year colleges will require SAT scores from transfer applicants who have completed only one year of college and do NOT require SAT’s from those with an AA degree. (You’ll need to check Web sites for each transfer college you’re considering to see what the testing policy is. Also check to see what the median test scores are at each college. If yours are below the median, you should definitely re-test or wait until you’ve had two years of community college before transferring.)

You certainly can apply to transfer to a four-year-school in your freshman year, but do give a second year at the community college some consideration as well. You’re clearly on a roll there!

Good luck whatever you decide.


Written by

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone knows the competitive and often convoluted college admission process inside out: From the first time the topic of college comes up at the dinner table until the last duffel bag is unloaded on a dorm room floor. She is the co-author of Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions; The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges and The International Student's Guide to Going to College in America. Sally has appeared on NBC's Today program and has been quoted in countless publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, People and Seventeen. Sally has viewed the admissions world from many angles: As a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years, an independent college counselor serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and the author of College Confidential's "Ask the Dean" column. She also taught language arts, social studies, study skills and test preparation in 10 schools, including American international schools in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens and Tel Aviv. As senior advisor to College Confidential since 2002, Sally has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the college admissions maze. In 2008, she co-founded College Karma, a private college consulting firm, with her College Confidential colleague Dave Berry, and she continues to serve as a College Confidential advisor. Sally and her husband, Chris Petrides, became first-time parents in 1997 at the ripe-old age of 45. So Sally was nearly an official senior citizen when her son Jack began the college selection process, and when she was finally able to practice what she had preached for more than three decades.

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