I transferred to CSU from a community college. Here’s how it worked for me.

looking down at a study table with a laptop, phone, food, and drink

Are you thinking your academic path might be through transferring to CSU? You might be surprised how common this is. Here’s a story from a transfer student who came to Colorado State via community college. Learn why she knew it was the right choice for her situation, and get some tips on making it work for you, too.

Going to community college before coming to Colorado State was the best thing for me after graduating high school. As much as I would have loved to attend a university after graduation, there were many factors that stopped me from doing so. I am a first-generation student and daughter of immigrants. I did not have the privilege of preparing for college before my senior year. When it was time to make a decision on the path I would take after high school, I had a low GPA and zero money in my savings. Attending a community college allowed me to work full time and study full time. It gave me an opportunity to prove myself as a student, save money, and figure out what I wanted to study while doing it.

My biggest advice for those who decide to transfer from a community college to CSU is to communicate with your transfer advisor at CSU. I found myself constantly making one-on-one appointments with my CSU transfer admissions advisor, my academic advisor, and with advising in financial aid at CSU. The meetings ranged from 15 minutes to an hour, and helped me make sure my finances were in place, and that the classes I was taking in community college would transfer over to classes that could be taken at CSU.

Once you have the important transfer steps nailed down, I also recommend doing research about the different ways to get involved in your university. One of the biggest challenges of being a transfer student is building a community for yourself once you are here. The more you get involved, the more opportunities you will have to find your people. I attended many meetings and have met countless people, and through all of that, I have had the best experiences and created the strongest relationships as a CSU student. During transfer student orientation, I attended an informational talk about a club that ended up being something I was not really interested in. Although I never joined that club, I met someone who quickly turned into my best friend. And, because it was an event for transfer students, I was able to connect with her in a more-personal level because we shared similar student experiences as transfers.

I also suggest getting involved in more than just CSU clubs. Getting a job and volunteering on campus allows you to get to know people outside of your classes and interests. Working as an Admissions Ambassador and becoming a cultural mentor has allowed me to meet more people that aren’t like me. These are some of the people that I reach out to when I catch myself doubting all the hard work that I put in my studies.

As a transfer, your path will be different, but that shouldn’t stop you from allowing yourself the university experience that you want. Maybe it’s going full-out and being part of all the traditions on campus, or maybe its commuting twice a week and working full time. However you choose to walk through your academic journey, do it with pride because your unique voice and experience matters at Colorado State.

valeria headshot

Valeria is a Social Work major at CSU. She works as an Admissions Ambassador and is part of the President’s Leadership Program. She is heavily involved with MEDLIFE, serving as a recruitment officer on the board, and holds a leadership role as a cultural mentor for international students at CSU. In her free time, Valeria loves playing her guitar, traveling, spending time with friends and family, and, most importantly, cuddling her dog, Marley.

Need a few more tips for a smooth transfer experience?

Check out five tips for anyone transferring to Colorado State from a community college.