Two-Year Schools That Produce the Most Transfer Students

These seven schools do their best to ease the transition from a two-year to a four-year college.

By Sydney Nikols | February 17, 2017

According to Inside Higher Ed, 65 percent of students who graduate from a four-year college in Kansas went to a community college beforehand.
Photo: Thinkstock

There are good reasons to consider starting your higher education at a two-year college: it’ll make the total cost of your college experience cheaper, and it may mean that you can get into a four-year college that otherwise wouldn’t have accepted your application. The American Association of Community Colleges reports that 28% of bachelor degree earners started at a community college – that's almost a third of all college students. The report also finds that 47% of bachelor degree earners have taken at least one class at community college.

If you’d like to use a two-year school as a launching pad to a four-year college, consider one of these seven schools, all of which have great reputations for successfully producing transfer students.

These two-year schools may make your four-year goals come true.

1. Northwest Iowa Community College

Northwest Iowa Community College was awarded seventh place on CNN Money’s list of best two-year schools for graduating or transferring. The school maintains transfer agreements with colleges all across the Midwest, including South Dakota State University, University of Iowa, and Iowa State University.

2. Colorado Mountain College

Colorado Mountain College is a member of Colorado’s General Education Project, which guarantees that credits will transfer to the state’s colleges and universities. If you want in on the program, CMC is a good pick – it has the best graduation and transfer rates of any two-year school in the state.

3. Santa Monica College

Santa Monica College produces the most transfer students of any two-year college in California – in 2010, they produced an impressive 1,053. Transfers usually go to either California State schools or University of California schools, some of which are pretty prestigious, like University of California Los Angeles and University of California Berkeley.

In addition to a wide variety of academic resources, SMC's library has an entire floor devoted to popular and best selling fiction.
Photo: Smc.edu

4. Garden City Community College

According to Inside Higher Ed, 65 percent of students who graduate from a four-year college in Kansas went to a community college beforehand. Garden City Community College has proven to be a great option for students pursuing this path – the school has a high rate of on-time program completion, and about 400 students a year transfer to universities like Kansas State University, University of Kansas and Wichita State University.

5. De Anza College

Ranked tenth on CNN Money’s list of community colleges with the best graduation and transfer rates, De Anza College produced the second-most transfer students of any two-year school in California in 2010. Students can transfer to California State schools, University of California schools, or independent colleges with the help of Deanza’s transfer planning program and partnership program, which help students get into great universities like University of California Berkeley.

6. Cocino Community College

Cocino Community College has extensive, successful transfer programs involving prescribed coursework and individualized counseling for students who want to go to Northern Arizona University or Arizona State University. Beyond that, they also have partnerships with Northcentral University, Western International University and University of Phoenix.

CCC's Lone Tree campus is located in Flagstaff, Arizona.

7. Southwest Texas Junior College

According to Inside Higher Ed, an astounding 78 percent of students who get a four-year degree in Texas transferred from a two-year school (that’s the highest rate in the country).Southwest Texas Junior College has a ton of articulation agreements with four-year universities in the state (like Texas State University), and they offer transfer planning guides to help students along the way.


If you play your cards right, these two-year schools may just make your four-year goals come true.

People Who Read This Article Also Read:

California: Community College to 4-Year College Transfer Agreements (IGETC)
Community College: Is It For Me?
Map Out Your Community College Course Plan
10 Community Colleges With the Highest Graduation Rates

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