The Foreign Service Journal, December 2020

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | DECEMBER 2020 95 And then there’s mental health. If you choose to apply only to community col- leges with a guaranteed transfer, and not to four-year colleges, you will most likely find an enormous reduction in the stress usu- ally associated with the college application process—and with college tuition bills. (Or you can apply to a few four-year colleges but relax knowing you have the community college backup plan. That said, many students and parents are willing to trade autumn stress and higher tuition costs for that coveted four-year-college sweatshirt or bumper sticker come April.) The guaranteed transfer system is also appealing because, in two years’ time, you won’t have to go through the usual transfer application process, which can be just as stressful as the freshman application process. As long as you meet the requirements dictated by your eventual four-year institution, you’re guaranteed admission. What Can I Do Now? If this sounds intriguing, visit the “Transfer Student Admission” pages of a few of your favorite four-year universi- ties to determine if they offer guaranteed transfer programs from certain community colleges. You can also search under the term “articulation agreement,” which is the agreement between a community college and a four-year college that paves the way for easy transfer. Be aware, however, that some articulation agreements include guaranteed transfer, while others do not. Know ahead of time that certain majors, such as nursing, have easier pathways to guaranteed transfer than other majors. And flagship campuses of state universities tend not to offer guaranteed transfers nearly as often as satellite campuses do. Most likely, any community college that takes part in a guaranteed transfer systemwill be accredited, but it’s always good to check. You can learn more about the seven regional accrediting organiza- tions on the U.S. Department of Education website and find out if a college is accred- ited at Resources to Check Out Below are listings of some of the colleges taking part in the guaranteed