Transfer Program at Tidewater Community College Helps Students Attend Their "Dream School"

Tidewater Community College is a four-location institution in Hampton Roads that provides two years of college education at an affordable price compared to local four-year institutions. TCC also offers transfer programs, which ensure a student’s acceptance into a four-year university or college after earning their associate’s degree.

“Students who don’t get into their dream school often come to TCC to take advantage of our guaranteed transfer programs,” said Marian Anderfuren, TCC’s associate vice president for communication. “They finish their first two years of college here for much less in tuition than if they went to a four-year school, and still get into their ‘dream school.’ ”

Tuition for the 2017 fall semester at TCC is $143.75 per credit hour, while Old Dominion University is $335 per credit hour. TCC transfer students enter a four-year college or university as juniors, shortening their time at those institutions.

TCC has guaranteed admission agreements with more than 40 Virginia colleges and universities. It offers seven majors for associate’s degrees, or a certificate in general studies.

Mikalah Lake, a TCC transfer student who now attends Old Dominion University, said the transfer program was “simple,” partially because of the career fairs and educational fairs at TCC. Colleges and universities like Virginia Tech, Virginia Wesleyan College, and Old Dominion give pamphlets to students interested in transferring.

Lake said transferring is about choice. “Do whatever feels best to you,” she recommended. “It’s your own initiative that will take you places.”

Lake said that when a student transfers from TCC to a state school like ODU, their credits transfer, but their grade-point average resets as a 4.0.

Along with the guaranteed admission, TCC students also can qualify for transfer grants. In-state, undergraduate students who complete their associate’s degree at a Virginia community college with a GPA of 3.0 or above and transfer to a four-year college or university qualify for a College Transfer Grant that may give qualifying students up to $3,000 annually.

Jane Dané, assistant vice president for enrollment management at ODU, said the school will receive about 3,000 community college transfer students in the 2017 fall semester. ODU also has a number of students who enroll right out of high school. “Starting at a four-year university gives them a chance to connect with peers early on,” she said.

To ensure a successful transfer, Virginia’s Community Colleges System recommends students “declare your intent to transfer” after earning 15 credits. “By the time you are mid-way through your academic program, declare your major and university,” VCCS recommends on its frequently asked questions webpage. “The longer you wait to make a decision, the more you risk delaying degree completion.”