2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

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sd323232
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2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by sd323232 » Sat Feb 09, 2019 4:42 pm

Fellow Boggle Heads, need your opinion here.

My nephew is going to graduate this year from high school and is planning to pursue Mechanical Engineering. Unfortunately, his parents will not pay for his college because they have no money. In my opinion, it is not a problem. Me and my nephew sat down and put together a plan that he can follow. Here it is, please review and suggest if any improvements can or need to be made:

My nephew lives in Austin. We did a research and found out that Austin Community College has a great 2 year Engineering program that cost around $5100 ($2600 per year). The good thing about this college is that all credits are transferable to University of Texas, Austin Campus. After 2 years he will transfer to UT and after 2 additional years there, he will graduate with a Mechanical Engineering Bachelor of Science Degree. The two years in UT will cost around $22K total ($11K a year). He will live at home all this time to save on housing. I suggested he def can get a part time job for the whole time he is in college (work full time somewhere in summer time when he is off school, may be even get internship) to pay for his gas, school books, etc.

I didn’t take in account any scholarships he may get, that will be extra bonus! He will def apply for scholarships.

So, in my opinion, he can graduate with engineering degree and no school loans (or very minimal amount of school loans which he can pay off in a year or two, around 4k-5K).

Additionally, if he decided to change his mind about his major while he is community college, he will not be deeply in student loan debt and can pursue whatever his next career choice may be.

Please let me know if this plan can be improved or something extra my nephew can do to help with school cost.

Thank you!

sailaway
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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by sailaway » Sat Feb 09, 2019 4:47 pm

The ACC engineering programs are great, so this is a better plan than it might be at other community colleges.

Mike Scott
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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by Mike Scott » Sat Feb 09, 2019 4:54 pm

The direct transfer credit between schools is the thing that should make this work. Summer engineering internships would pay most of the annual school costs if he can get into them right away and would likely pay more than a random summer job. Possible Pell eligibility would help along with any scholarships. Student loans are not always a bad thing if that is what it takes to get over the financal hump to make it work.

Tdubs
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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by Tdubs » Sat Feb 09, 2019 4:57 pm

Was a professor for 15 years at a 4-year state school. Saw plenty of students transfer from CC and wondered why more didn't do it. I think it is a prestige thing. Tell him to go to CC if money is the main driver. Probably not as good for your social life, but he will thank you for the advice when he is repaying his student loans.

It is also a great way to get in the backdoor at an R1 school like UT that a student might not get admitted to out of HS. The Berkeleys, Michigans, UTs, and UVAs of the world HAVE to take CC students (though some schools and special programs might have higher than minimum GPA requirements for CC transfer students), but as long as you have your CC degree in hand, you are in. Forget about SATs and the college essay.

And no one cares if you went to CC. It is were you get your BS degree that matters.

radiowave
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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by radiowave » Sat Feb 09, 2019 5:01 pm

My nephew lives in Austin. We did a research and found out that Austin Community College has a great 2 year Engineering program that cost around $5100 ($2600 per year). The good thing about this college is that all credits are transferable to University of Texas, Austin Campus. After 2 years he will transfer to UT and after 2 additional years there, he will graduate with a Mechanical Engineering Bachelor of Science Degree.
It can be complicated moving from a community college to a BS program especially with many of the professional degrees. Some things to consider:
- If your nephew is accepted into the ACC 2 year engineering program is it articulated with UT, e.g. is he also accepted into the UT program?

- If not, does he have to apply to the UT program - likely this will be an upper division program, e.g. he would enter the UT ME program as a junior?

- although the ACC credits would be transferred, are they the right courses for the UT ME program? Is he taking the required prerequisite courses at ACC for the UT ME program? This can be tricky sometimes as there may be specific courses required for entry into the BS program, e.g. 3-4 semesters of calculus that may not be given at the community college level and some courses have a specific sequence.

- has your nephew spoken with admission counselors at both ACC and UT? if not, I strongly recommend he do so and also speak with faculty at the engineering programs at both ACC and UT as well.

- What is his high school GPA and SAT scores? Do they meet entrance requirements at both schools?

I know these are a lot of specific questions and please take them as being helpful. I have advised many students in healthcare programs (nursing) and there are a lot of complexities coming from a community college into a BS program. Yes agree with costs issue but your nephew needs specific guidance from both programs to be sure he has a clear pathway. I hope it works out for him and commend his career insight at such an early age.
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staythecourse
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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by staythecourse » Sat Feb 09, 2019 5:02 pm

Mike Scott wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 4:54 pm
The direct transfer credit between schools is the thing that should make this work. Summer engineering internships would pay most of the annual school costs if he can get into them right away and would likely pay more than a random summer job. Possible Pell eligibility would help along with any scholarships. Student loans are not always a bad thing if that is what it takes to get over the financal hump to make it work.
Agreed. 2 years CC is great option. Just make sure all credits transfer for the SPECIFIC engineering college. Everything else you can figure out as you go. Kudos to you for helping your nephew out with the specifics otherwise it would have been daunting for the average high school kid.

Good luck.
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livesoft
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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by livesoft » Sat Feb 09, 2019 5:03 pm

He should apply for financial aid. If he can get admitted to UT Austin which is hard to do without very good grades, then he should explore all his financial aid options. It would be better to get admitted freshman year and defer going because of lack of money than to not try to get in and go to CC.

I would think that getting accepted as a transfer student would be very difficult. One can easily call up the MechE department at UT Austin and ask them how many transfer students from CC were admitted in the past 2 years. You won't have to guess this number. And even the CC should be able to tell you how many of their students were able to transfer to UTAustin. These numbers are known.

Another thing is to find out if transfers actually graduate in 2 years. I suspect they might not get into required courses as easily and would take at least 3 years.

OTOH, there are thousands of part-time jobs in Austin that would pay enough to cover a year's tuition at UTAustin AND allow him to save money if only paying for CC. Nothing wrong with working part-time while in college and during the summers. Has your nephew already worked every year of high school and during the summers? If not, why not?

Note that the lower rates for tuition in Texas are limited to a certain number of credit hours, so the perpetual students or students who take too long to graduate will pay higher rates.
Last edited by livesoft on Sat Feb 09, 2019 5:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Tdubs
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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by Tdubs » Sat Feb 09, 2019 5:03 pm

radiowave wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 5:01 pm
My nephew lives in Austin. We did a research and found out that Austin Community College has a great 2 year Engineering program that cost around $5100 ($2600 per year). The good thing about this college is that all credits are transferable to University of Texas, Austin Campus. After 2 years he will transfer to UT and after 2 additional years there, he will graduate with a Mechanical Engineering Bachelor of Science Degree.
It can be complicated moving from a community college to a BS program especially with many of the professional degrees. Some things to consider:
- If your nephew is accepted into the ACC 2 year engineering program is it articulated with UT, e.g. is he also accepted into the UT program?

- If not, does he have to apply to the UT program - likely this will be an upper division program, e.g. he would enter the UT ME program as a junior?

- although the ACC credits would be transferred, are they the right courses for the UT ME program? Is he taking the required prerequisite courses at ACC for the UT ME program? This can be tricky sometimes as there may be specific courses required for entry into the BS program, e.g. 3-4 semesters of calculus that may not be given at the community college level and some courses have a specific sequence.

- has your nephew spoken with admission counselors at both ACC and UT? if not, I strongly recommend he do so and also speak with faculty at the engineering programs at both ACC and UT as well.

- What is his high school GPA and SAT scores? Do they meet entrance requirements at both schools?

I know these are a lot of specific questions and please take them as being helpful. I have advised many students in healthcare programs (nursing) and there are a lot of complexities coming from a community college into a BS program. Yes agree with costs issue but your nephew needs specific guidance from both programs to be sure he has a clear pathway. I hope it works out for him and commend his career insight at such an early age.
This is Austin CC we are talking about. It is certain they have an articulation agreement with UT that will make the transfer seamless.

livesoft
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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by livesoft » Sat Feb 09, 2019 5:08 pm

Tdubs wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 5:03 pm
This is Austin CC we are talking about. It is certain they have an articulation agreement with UT that will make the transfer seamless.
There is no reason to wonder or guess about this. Ask them directly. And Austin CC is not the same as Austin College.
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go_mets
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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by go_mets » Sat Feb 09, 2019 5:11 pm

This type of arrangement is very common with Rutgers and the nearby community colleges.

If your nephew is guaranteed admittance to UT-Austin after finishing two years at community college, I don't see any reason not to do this.

I had a co-worker's whose son did something similar.
Two years at community college and then two years at Drexel.

JPM
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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by JPM » Sat Feb 09, 2019 5:12 pm

Engineering is a tough undergrad major and may preclude most forms of employment during the school year unless your nephew has a high energy level and low sleep requirement. I worked as a night watchman and/or weekend security guard during undergrad and that was very doable. Plenty of time to study and work on projects especially on the weekend gigs in industrial plants where there were no visitors and the plants were seldom in operation. Pay was pretty modest though. Manual labor in the summers paid well and that covered most of what I needed. Most of the jobs I did summers are done now by machine or by undocumented immigrant labor.

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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by go_mets » Sat Feb 09, 2019 5:15 pm

http://www.austincc.edu/engineering/Mec ... evised.jpg

It looks as if the only guaranteed path is if your nephew gets into the Texas A&M-Chevron Engineering Academy
He ends up at A&M http://www.austincc.edu/engineering/

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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by willthrill81 » Sat Feb 09, 2019 5:16 pm

Tdubs wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 4:57 pm
And no one cares if you went to CC. It is were you get your BS degree that matters.
Bingo.
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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by KlangFool » Sat Feb 09, 2019 5:16 pm

Tdubs wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 5:03 pm
radiowave wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 5:01 pm
My nephew lives in Austin. We did a research and found out that Austin Community College has a great 2 year Engineering program that cost around $5100 ($2600 per year). The good thing about this college is that all credits are transferable to University of Texas, Austin Campus. After 2 years he will transfer to UT and after 2 additional years there, he will graduate with a Mechanical Engineering Bachelor of Science Degree.
It can be complicated moving from a community college to a BS program especially with many of the professional degrees. Some things to consider:
- If your nephew is accepted into the ACC 2 year engineering program is it articulated with UT, e.g. is he also accepted into the UT program?

- If not, does he have to apply to the UT program - likely this will be an upper division program, e.g. he would enter the UT ME program as a junior?

- although the ACC credits would be transferred, are they the right courses for the UT ME program? Is he taking the required prerequisite courses at ACC for the UT ME program? This can be tricky sometimes as there may be specific courses required for entry into the BS program, e.g. 3-4 semesters of calculus that may not be given at the community college level and some courses have a specific sequence.

- has your nephew spoken with admission counselors at both ACC and UT? if not, I strongly recommend he do so and also speak with faculty at the engineering programs at both ACC and UT as well.

- What is his high school GPA and SAT scores? Do they meet entrance requirements at both schools?

I know these are a lot of specific questions and please take them as being helpful. I have advised many students in healthcare programs (nursing) and there are a lot of complexities coming from a community college into a BS program. Yes agree with costs issue but your nephew needs specific guidance from both programs to be sure he has a clear pathway. I hope it works out for him and commend his career insight at such an early age.
This is Austin CC we are talking about. It is certain they have an articulation agreement with UT that will make the transfer seamless.
Tdubs,

This is the link for transfer guide. Please note that there is no guarantee admission to the college of engineering.

https://admissions.utexas.edu/apply/tra ... fer-guides

KlangFool

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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by KlangFool » Sat Feb 09, 2019 5:22 pm

OP,

Depending on his academic scores, he should apply to UT Austin, Texas A&M, ACC, and so on. He may get merit or need-based scholarship. If someone is giving him a full-ride scholarship, he should go there instead.

He should check out college confidential web site and check out which university are more generous in giving out a scholarship.

KlangFool

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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by Ragman » Sat Feb 09, 2019 5:30 pm

I went the CC route, while working nearly full time. Was able to rub shoulders with a diverse group of students. Best thing I ever did. I matured and by the time I made it to the university, I was all business and did not get distracted by extra curricular activities. Graduated with an engineering discipline. Had good stories to tell when I was interviewing for my first couple of jobs.

Received an offer from nearly every company I interviewed with. I actually found that I learned more at the CC; although, the university gave me the “credentials” to launch my career.

Bottom line, I felt the CC route gave me an advantage over others I was competing against for a job. The hiring managers admired my grit. The diversity I experienced helped me enter management, with a fairly large team, in my mid 20’s.

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sd323232
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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by sd323232 » Sat Feb 09, 2019 5:35 pm

Thanks for reply guys! good stuff. Keep all questions coming, that’s why I asked, to make sure I didn’t miss anything.

What TDubs is saying is exactly we were told by ACC and UT. No SAT is needed. He will take placement test at ACC. As long as he graduates 3.0+ GPA at ACC, he will get into UT. 3.0 GPA will guarantee his transfer. He may transfer with a lower GPA, but a lower GPA will be no guarantee transfer. UT referred me to link below to check if all ACC credits are accepted:

http://utdirect.utexas.edu/adtreq/search1.WBX

All ACC credits will be transferred.

Also, my nephew is not fixed on UT. A&M is also a great school. We will def explore more transfer options.

Ragman, you are a success story! I will show my nephew this post. So much good info here.

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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by radiowave » Sat Feb 09, 2019 5:36 pm

KlangFool, thanks, taking the URL one step further https://utexas.box.com/shared/static/lh ... ta31.pdf there is an articulation program between the community colleges and UT. As noted, a CC student must apply for admission into the respective engineering program at UT and is competitive admission. So no guarantee. Also note
Core curriculum transfer credit from Texas community colleges is guaranteed to apply toward the UT Austin core, but degree plans may specify how to fulfill some core requirements. Recommendations in this Guide satisfy core requirements with courses normally prescribed by a student's major field of study at UT.
There are both generic BS requirements for graduation and separate major requirements. It is important the OP's nephew work with a counselor at UT and specifically in the engineering major he wants to pursue to be sure he has the required mix of BS core and engineering core and prerequisite courses. I've had students in the past trying to get into the upper division major that missed one of the prerequisite courses and that course needed a specific prerequisite and that pushed them back a year, which delays upper division entry and delays a year of salary after graduation. So sometimes the community college route to a BS can actually be more costly when looking at how long it takes to graduate and earn a salary.
Last edited by radiowave on Sat Feb 09, 2019 5:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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NotWhoYouThink
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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Sat Feb 09, 2019 5:36 pm

Starting at CC and transferring to a University is a good plan, looks like it might not be UT Austin but there are other great schools in Texas.

If he will graduate May 2019 he is way behind in applying for both admission and scholarships, most merit and financial aid has been awarded by now. If you really want to go that way he should not go to CC but should take a gap year and apply next year. Merit and financial aid is much more available for freshmen than for CC transfers.

Will his parents fill out FAFSA?

Tdubs
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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by Tdubs » Sat Feb 09, 2019 5:38 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 5:16 pm
Tdubs wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 5:03 pm
radiowave wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 5:01 pm
My nephew lives in Austin. We did a research and found out that Austin Community College has a great 2 year Engineering program that cost around $5100 ($2600 per year). The good thing about this college is that all credits are transferable to University of Texas, Austin Campus. After 2 years he will transfer to UT and after 2 additional years there, he will graduate with a Mechanical Engineering Bachelor of Science Degree.
It can be complicated moving from a community college to a BS program especially with many of the professional degrees. Some things to consider:
- If your nephew is accepted into the ACC 2 year engineering program is it articulated with UT, e.g. is he also accepted into the UT program?

- If not, does he have to apply to the UT program - likely this will be an upper division program, e.g. he would enter the UT ME program as a junior?

- although the ACC credits would be transferred, are they the right courses for the UT ME program? Is he taking the required prerequisite courses at ACC for the UT ME program? This can be tricky sometimes as there may be specific courses required for entry into the BS program, e.g. 3-4 semesters of calculus that may not be given at the community college level and some courses have a specific sequence.

- has your nephew spoken with admission counselors at both ACC and UT? if not, I strongly recommend he do so and also speak with faculty at the engineering programs at both ACC and UT as well.

- What is his high school GPA and SAT scores? Do they meet entrance requirements at both schools?

I know these are a lot of specific questions and please take them as being helpful. I have advised many students in healthcare programs (nursing) and there are a lot of complexities coming from a community college into a BS program. Yes agree with costs issue but your nephew needs specific guidance from both programs to be sure he has a clear pathway. I hope it works out for him and commend his career insight at such an early age.
This is Austin CC we are talking about. It is certain they have an articulation agreement with UT that will make the transfer seamless.
Tdubs,

This is the link for transfer guide. Please note that there is no guarantee admission to the college of engineering.

https://admissions.utexas.edu/apply/tra ... fer-guides

KlangFool
Good point, though I was responding to your question about having the right courses to make the transfer. Page two lays out clearly the right transfer courses required for each engineering major.

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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Sat Feb 09, 2019 5:48 pm

This is how our younger son will be doing college. Started this semester with one night course at CC as a part of his high school's courses. He also applied for and received a CC non-need based scholarship. $700 for 1 course, $500 scholarship. Many Mass state and private colleges have links with CC programs. Look at the CC program. In schools I've looked at, the number of courses and major can be quite different. For example, an AS in "Engineering" is typically 4 courses per semester. An AS in Electrical and Computer Engineering is 5 courses per semester. So it's likely that a transferring student could either need to make up or be ahead coming in.

If your kid wants to major in engineering, be absolutely sure that the CC courses and 4 year school are engineering and NOT engineering technology. They are worlds different. Calculus is the key and make sure that it's the basis for the CC course. Calculus based physics is next to be sure of.

I have an associates in technology from a CC and only English transferred when I later decided to get a 4 year degree. Don't make that mistake.
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Theseus
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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by Theseus » Sat Feb 09, 2019 5:51 pm

My relative did this exactly for IT major. She went to CC in Virginia and had guaranteed transfer to all reputed VA schools (including super hard to get into schools like UVA, V-Tech) if the GPA is maintained. She transferred after CC and graduated with BS in IT. Lived at home and saved a ton of money. I highly recommend this option if he doesn’t get financial aid for a direct admission.

3504PIR
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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by 3504PIR » Sat Feb 09, 2019 6:23 pm

Your plan is very sound. The competition applying to schools like UT can be very tough. The sure fire way to bypass that is to do exactly what you plan. The transfer is virtually guaranteed assuming the student is an average or above student. Programs at the CCs are specifically set up to mirror the first 2 years at the university and the CCs work closely with the university to ensure the correct classes are taken etc.

Financially, it’s also the cheapest way to go. Great plan, your nephew is lucky to have you on his side.

KlangFool
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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by KlangFool » Sat Feb 09, 2019 6:33 pm

Theseus wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 5:51 pm
My relative did this exactly for IT major. She went to CC in Virginia and had guaranteed transfer to all reputed VA schools (including super hard to get into schools like UVA, V-Tech) if the GPA is maintained. She transferred after CC and graduated with BS in IT. Lived at home and saved a ton of money. I highly recommend this option if he doesn’t get financial aid for a direct admission.
Theseus,

In Northern Virginia, every year, the NOVA (Northern Virginia) Community College offer a few full-paid 2-years scholarships to the high school students in the local area. OP should check whether similar scholarships are available.

KlangFool

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TxAg
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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by TxAg » Sat Feb 09, 2019 6:36 pm

sailaway wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 4:47 pm
The ACC engineering programs are great, so this is a better plan than it might be at other community colleges.
+1

Phronesis
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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by Phronesis » Sat Feb 09, 2019 6:37 pm

Your plan looks good. Just keep doing your due diligence regarding transferable courses. For what it's worth, I went to a CC for two years to save money. While I could have transfered to several UCalifornia schools based on their agreements, I transferred elsewhere, ultimately earning a PhD.

KlangFool
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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by KlangFool » Sat Feb 09, 2019 6:38 pm

3504PIR wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 6:23 pm
Your plan is very sound. The competition applying to schools like UT can be very tough. The sure fire way to bypass that is to do exactly what you plan. The transfer is virtually guaranteed assuming the student is an average or above student. Programs at the CCs are specifically set up to mirror the first 2 years at the university and the CCs work closely with the university to ensure the correct classes are taken etc.

Financially, it’s also the cheapest way to go. Great plan, your nephew is lucky to have you on his side.
3504PIR,

I do not believe that is a safe assumption.

https://admissions.utexas.edu/explore/rankings

<< Academics
#1 in Petroleum Engineering, U.S. News & World Report
#4 in Chemical Engineering U.S. News & World Report
#4 in Civil Engineering U.S. News & World Report
#5 in Environmental/Environmental Health Engineering U.S. News & World Report
#6 Undergraduate Business School, U.S. News & World Report, 2018
#9 Undergraduate Engineering Program, U.S. News & World Report, 2018>>

KlangFool

sciliz
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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by sciliz » Sat Feb 09, 2019 6:54 pm

This may be a challenging plan. Specifically, the Cockrell school of engineering notes that most transfer students "take six to seven long semesters" post transfer. http://www.engr.utexas.edu/admissions/u ... l-transfer
As Klangfool notes, they are a Serious Engineering School, and can be pretty picky.

Assuming your nephew is *entering* college with calculus under his belt, *and* the CC offers enough high level technical courses that will transfer, he can definitely go the CC-> UT Austin engineering route. However it sounds like they like their transfers at the 24 credit mark, which probably relates to how many sequenced classes they have in the engineering curriculum. So there would be some savings, but not as much as if they wanted transfers at the 48 credit mark. It won't be a 2 year + 2 year plan. It will be a 1 + 3 year plan. Maybe could be done in less, but almost certainly not with working simultaneously.

Speaking of working simultaneously, it *does* look like UT Austin has some co-op programs. That is where you work for a specific company and they pay for a good portion of your undergrad. It's a great option for engineers on a budget! http://www.engr.utexas.edu/student-life ... nternships
Those programs will be extremely competitive, I'd guess.

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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by radiowave » Sat Feb 09, 2019 6:54 pm

For those reading this thread with children in high school who are getting ready to go to college, one good strategy is to take advanced placement courses for college credit in high school especially those generic first year course requirements such as English comp, basic science with lab, psychology, etc. Unfortunately this does not apply to the OP's nephew since he is graduating this May. However, getting a few college courses in senior year HS (and sometimes junior year HS), can really help with the first year of college whether at community or university level. Also, taking college level classes over the summer can also help. If a student is motivated, this approach can cut BS/BA degree down to 3 years which reduces the overall cost of the degree but also gets the graduate into the job market a year earlier earning a salary.

Just an FYI.
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pdavi21
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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by pdavi21 » Sat Feb 09, 2019 7:18 pm

Great idea! You need to post this in one of those 529 plan threads than turn into bloodbaths.
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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by cutterinnj » Sat Feb 09, 2019 7:43 pm

Yes, of course it makes sense.

I did 2 years at community college, finished my undergrad at a “top ten” school, then went to med school.

Why not save money where you can?

Tdubs
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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by Tdubs » Sat Feb 09, 2019 8:22 pm

sciliz wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 6:54 pm
This may be a challenging plan. Specifically, the Cockrell school of engineering notes that most transfer students "take six to seven long semesters" post transfer. http://www.engr.utexas.edu/admissions/u ... l-transfer
As Klangfool notes, they are a Serious Engineering School, and can be pretty picky.

Assuming your nephew is *entering* college with calculus under his belt, *and* the CC offers enough high level technical courses that will transfer, he can definitely go the CC-> UT Austin engineering route. However it sounds like they like their transfers at the 24 credit mark, which probably relates to how many sequenced classes they have in the engineering curriculum. So there would be some savings, but not as much as if they wanted transfers at the 48 credit mark. It won't be a 2 year + 2 year plan. It will be a 1 + 3 year plan. Maybe could be done in less, but almost certainly not with working simultaneously.

Speaking of working simultaneously, it *does* look like UT Austin has some co-op programs. That is where you work for a specific company and they pay for a good portion of your undergrad. It's a great option for engineers on a budget! http://www.engr.utexas.edu/student-life ... nternships
Those programs will be extremely competitive, I'd guess.
That sentence about six to seven semesters makes reference to completing prereqs and reads: "Most transfer students in the Cockrell School take six to seven long semesters to graduate after transferring from another university." ACC is not a university. This statement is likely referencing students who transfer without a 2-year pre-engineering degree in hand. Students coming from ACC will not be in that position if they follow the recommended course schedule. The Texas legislature is not going to look kindly on four-year state schools requiring CC students to do a BS in three years rather than two,

It is worth asking ACC the percentage of its applicants to UT engineering (by GPA).

JWooden10
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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by JWooden10 » Sat Feb 09, 2019 8:36 pm

To the OP,

I hire engineers on a regular basis. I would be OK with 2-years of CC as long as there was a successful transfer to a good school for BS. I'm much more interested in how those 4-years are spent. Were the grades strong? Applicable internship or co-op experience? Participation in extra curriculars that show me you can be a successful part of a team or potentially even a leader? Hobbies that illustrate you have a work ethic and are passionate about something other than the fraternity/sorority and hanging out with your friends? The answers to these questions trump where you spent the first 2-years of your education.

palaheel
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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by palaheel » Sat Feb 09, 2019 8:46 pm

Find out if there are specific GPA guidelines for transferring into the program you're interested in. In my state, CC transfer students need somewhere around a 3.8 or 3.85 (depending on program) to transfer to the leading engineering school. This leaves little room for error in a heavy calculus/hard sciences curriculum. To me, that means "we don't want you if we have an excuse not to take you." It also means that "optional" courses should be in basket weaving. Courses like Computer Science that are not required for the AS in Engineering degree may be useful, but they are also difficult and risky. They become problematic.
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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by Trader Joe » Sat Feb 09, 2019 8:50 pm

sd323232 wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 4:42 pm
Fellow Boggle Heads, need your opinion here.

My nephew is going to graduate this year from high school and is planning to pursue Mechanical Engineering. Unfortunately, his parents will not pay for his college because they have no money. In my opinion, it is not a problem. Me and my nephew sat down and put together a plan that he can follow. Here it is, please review and suggest if any improvements can or need to be made:

My nephew lives in Austin. We did a research and found out that Austin Community College has a great 2 year Engineering program that cost around $5100 ($2600 per year). The good thing about this college is that all credits are transferable to University of Texas, Austin Campus. After 2 years he will transfer to UT and after 2 additional years there, he will graduate with a Mechanical Engineering Bachelor of Science Degree. The two years in UT will cost around $22K total ($11K a year). He will live at home all this time to save on housing. I suggested he def can get a part time job for the whole time he is in college (work full time somewhere in summer time when he is off school, may be even get internship) to pay for his gas, school books, etc.

I didn’t take in account any scholarships he may get, that will be extra bonus! He will def apply for scholarships.

So, in my opinion, he can graduate with engineering degree and no school loans (or very minimal amount of school loans which he can pay off in a year or two, around 4k-5K).

Additionally, if he decided to change his mind about his major while he is community college, he will not be deeply in student loan debt and can pursue whatever his next career choice may be.

Please let me know if this plan can be improved or something extra my nephew can do to help with school cost.

Thank you!
Yes this is a great plan.

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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by rotorhead » Sat Feb 09, 2019 9:33 pm

sd323232,
Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please
Post by radiowave » Sat Feb 09, 2019 6:54 pm

For those reading this thread with children in high school who are getting ready to go to college, one good strategy is to take advanced placement courses for college credit in high school especially those generic first year course requirements such as English comp, basic science with lab, psychology, etc. Unfortunately this does not apply to the OP's nephew since he is graduating this May. However, getting a few college courses in senior year HS (and sometimes junior year HS), can really help with the first year of college whether at community or university level. Also, taking college level classes over the summer can also help. If a student is motivated, this approach can cut BS/BA degree down to 3 years which reduces the overall cost of the degree but also gets the graduate into the job market a year earlier earning a salary.

Just an FYI.
I strongly second this information. We are Florida resident; and our niece did dual enrollment at the local community college, while completing her final year of high school. Then did the second year at community college. Graduated with 4.0 GPA, and transferred to University of Florida. Graduated with honors last summer; and hasn't looked back since. Cut a whole year off what would have been a "normal" schedule - and graduated with no debt!! Can't emphasize that enough.

In Florida, state law dictates that graduates of State Community Colleges must be accepted at any of the State Universities; provided their GPA is 3.0 or better, and they meet certain academic requirements - language, history, etc. Some courses don't transfer. It's a great way to cut time and cost off one's education.

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wander
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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by wander » Sat Feb 09, 2019 9:46 pm

Not sure about UT but I went to CC in California and transferred to UC without any problem as long you have good GPA. Another option is ROTC.

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Svensk Anga
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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by Svensk Anga » Sat Feb 09, 2019 10:04 pm

I endorse this program, having done it myself decades ago in a different state.

You do want to make sure that the CC and state school programs are coordinated, credits transfer, etc. In my case, there was one course in my program that is traditionally taken 2nd semester sophomore year. I could not get that course at CC and so was one semester behind. Of course, it was a prerequisite for a lot of the following courses. I got back on track to graduate in four years by taking classes one summer. No great hardship in my case, but it could throw a kink in the OP's nephew's work/study plan.

An engineering internship is highly recommended for enhanced employ-ability post graduation. Some pay much better than the garden variety summer job. Most I have seen do three semesters as interns, so school becomes a five year program. These usually start after sophomore year, so OP's nephew might miss out. Maybe these can be had out of CC: I don't know. If not, look into doing an internship after one semester at the state school.

Taking advanced placement tests is helpful in lightening the college course load. Ideally one could knock out most electives at CC once AP uncrowds the schedule. This makes for an easier course load later when it is mostly the heavy duty engineering classes.

I think the CC first route eases the transition from high school to university. My peers at CC did pretty well. Those that go directly to university seem more likely to let their social life take precedence over academics. Or maybe it just self selects that way.

HIinvestor
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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by HIinvestor » Sat Feb 09, 2019 10:58 pm

Our relative went to CC for 3 semesters and then transferred to an out of state, expensive private U. It saved her and her family those 3 semesters of tuition and all but one of the courses did transfer. She got a degree at a lower price and had a positive experience at her instate community college. Your plan sounds very sensible and excellent. Your young relative is lucky to have you helping him figure out a good path to graduate from a 4-year college with little to no debt! I wish more young people were able to get such good advice and grounded reasoning.

bogle520
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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by bogle520 » Sat Feb 09, 2019 11:03 pm

Based on a recent experience, I would highly recommend your nephew check in with the 4 yr school admissions/counselors every semester during the first 2 years, reporting what classes he has taken and have the admissions person signoff on a piece of paper the transfer will be seamless. I recently witnessed a 4 year state school renege (during the 2nd yr my child was in the community college) in honoring a statewide articulation agreement between the community colleges in the state and the 4 year state schools that this 4 yr school had signed! The penalty (in classes having to be re-taken at the 4 yr college even though the transfer student came in as a junior credit-wise and was following the previously published/agreed plan and an associated degree that was part of the articulation agreement) was over a semesters worth of classes to be essentially re-taken. Fortunately another 4 yr school in the state that was a reasonable option to attend was still honoring that same articulation agreement, and a change in plans to transfer to the different 4 yr state school the last 2 years was seamless.... Just be super vigant, don't trust anyone, don't self advise, and re-confirm each semester.

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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by starfish26 » Sat Feb 09, 2019 11:12 pm

My daughter and son in law are both university engineering professors. My daughter often talks about the real world experience of her students who come through the transfer program from the community college route. They bring different experiences and commitment as most are used to juggling jobs and full-time studies.
You may find this interesting from Springfield (Massachusetts) Technical Community College program of studies. http://catalog.stcc.edu/preview_degree_ ... 1549771082
Great way to save a bunch of money. Your nephew should definitely go through the community college route.

ronno2018
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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by ronno2018 » Sat Feb 09, 2019 11:16 pm

Nothing wrong with CC degree then transfer, I just worry a good student with unmotivated parents will miss out on good four year scholarships and grants. So please pursue four year applications and college visits. Of course even with financial aid it might still be a stretch for the student both mentally and financially, so CC option could be great. Just make an effort to compare options. Good luck! Very exciting!

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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by 123 » Sat Feb 09, 2019 11:28 pm

Two years in community college can be I great option. I did it. You have to use great care to select transferable classes. In my major the community college experience was superior to doing the first 2 years at a 4 year school because of the superior laboratory experience that was offered at the community college. Students at 4 year schools didn't get that level of laboratory experience until they reached upper division. In my particular major the community college experience put me far ahead of those that did the first 2 years at a 4 year school. Never had any regrets. People only care where the BA/BS comes from.
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Watty
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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by Watty » Sun Feb 10, 2019 1:10 am

One other piece of the puzzle that has not been mentioned is summer school.

Getting a summer internship, a job related to the major or a job that pays well is fantastic but if he will just be working in some minimum wage job flipping burgers then it might make sense to take classes in summer school instead even if it meant taking on some students loans. The payoff could be if he would be able to graduate in four years and start working sooner.

Even though he would be living at home working in a minimum wage job would likely mean that he would need to pay for a car, health insurance, and other living expenses so it would be good to consider just how much he would would actually clear over the summer.

The summer semester is short and can be intense so I would not recommend taking courses like calculus in summer school(Don't ask :oops: ) but it can be a good time to take other electives to get them out of the way.

He would need to work closely with his school counselors to make sure they are OK but taking an online course during the summer would also be an option to look into.

Sometimes you "do what you gotta do" but I have also see minimum wage fast food jobs impact students during the school years when they had to work late instead of studying. It is just anecdotal but one of my sons roommates often worked at a fast food restaurant until well after midnight and that greatly impacted his grades.

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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by Darwin » Sun Feb 10, 2019 1:43 am

Tdubs wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 4:57 pm
Was a professor for 15 years at a 4-year state school. Saw plenty of students transfer from CC and wondered why more didn't do it. I think it is a prestige thing. Tell him to go to CC if money is the main driver. Probably not as good for your social life, but he will thank you for the advice when he is repaying his student loans.

It is also a great way to get in the backdoor at an R1 school like UT that a student might not get admitted to out of HS. The Berkeleys, Michigans, UTs, and UVAs of the world HAVE to take CC students (though some schools and special programs might have higher than minimum GPA requirements for CC transfer students), but as long as you have your CC degree in hand, you are in. Forget about SATs and the college essay.

And no one cares if you went to CC. It is were you get your BS degree that matters.
Agreed!
I was a poor (financially and grade-wise) student in highschool, but dedicated myself once I entered the California community college system. It gave me time to figure out what I was really interested in while doing my general ed (unavoidable and rewarding). It kept my expenses down for this soul-searching period, resulting in lower loans to repay once I transferred to University.
Nobody wants to bring this up, but I recently read that 40% of fill who enter college do not ultimately get a degree. Theirs is the worst-case scenario, with debts to repay but no degree to boost future earnings. Community College is a good hedge, especially in California where the fees are low and the CC system is highly rated.
Last edited by Darwin on Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by ClaycordJCA » Sun Feb 10, 2019 1:51 am

It is an excellent option. I spent two years at a CC before transferring to UC Berkeley. Much smaller class sizes and a lot more hands-on instruction at the CC. All my units transferred to UCB, but I paid close attention and took only transferable courses. The two years at the CC did not prevent me from being accepted to UC Davis Law School - their focus was on my Berkeley degree.

My son is also a successful CC graduate. He is the first to admit that he was not ready for a four year college when he graduated from high school. He discovered Computer Science while at his CC and will graduate with a BS degree in CS from in May. His 529 account is overfunded, but we have no complaints - it was a great option for him. And DW and I will have a little $ to ease the transition to retirement.

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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by Dandy » Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:41 am

In general seems like a great plan to help someone reach their goal.

In my limited, dated experience there are substantial college costs that are difficult to uncover until you attend. e.g. parking, student activity fee, I can't recall the others. They acted somewhat like the airlines adding fees creatively.

It seemed to me that the colleges attempted to keep their published tuition low either to be competitive or if a state school were required to. So they turned to fees to meet rising costs. So, before you finalize the plan try to understand what other expenses might be under the radar. Also, keep in mind like most things costs go up each year.

earlywynnfan
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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by earlywynnfan » Sun Feb 10, 2019 9:56 am

This has been a very informative thread for me, as my sophomore is planning on a CC/transfer path just like in the OP.

For others in this boat, one thing not mentioned previously: I took some CC classes back in the day while I was sorting out life, then got serious and attended a very tiny college. One of the hidden problems with a tiny college is a couple times classes I needed just weren't available in a particular semester, or once I needed two classes to stay on schedule, but they were scheduled at the exact same time! Because I had a relationship with the local CC, my department chair helped me find the equivalent class there. I had to pay for it extra, but taking one night class at the CC during my senior year allowed to me graduate on track.

BrooklynInvest
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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by BrooklynInvest » Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:02 am

I did this for a year. Took a heavy load at a community college for one year and transferred for the last three.

Most of my credits transferred but that was largely on me - I should've done more due diligence.

CC was very different. I didn't have the money to go away for four years so wasn't an option but minimizing the time at CC to what's financially necessary would be my one suggestion.

getthatmarshmallow
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Re: 2 years in community college, then transfer? need opinion please

Post by getthatmarshmallow » Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:08 am

Two things that come to mind:
1) It sounds like the credits will articulate, e.g., a course at the CC is honored at UT, and if he does well he's into UT
2) That is not necessarily the same as being accepted to the engineering college, which will likely have more stringent requirements. He needs to find out what he has to do to get admission.

He also needs to do well. Lots of engineers struggle. Attrition is pretty high. If he were already at UT and pulled a 2.0 in his first semester, no biggie, just keep improving. (or change majors.) If he does that in a CC, he won't get into the program.

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