May 22, 2013

Sweet Deals that can save Thousands of Dollars

Northern Virginia Community College

College-bound students concerned about the cost of an undergraduate education or those not quite ready
to make a four-year commitment may want to consider the opportunities available through transfer partnerships between two- and four-year colleges.

Also known as “articulation agreements” or “guaranteed admission agreements,” these contracts between institutions are frequently overlooked or even misunderstood by students considering postsecondary options. 

But it’s not really all that difficult. An articulation agreement is a formal arrangement to transfer a defined set of academic credits between the academic programs of one institution (usually a two-year community college) to programs within a college or campus of a four-year institution. 

Many, but not all, of these agreements come with guaranteed admissions provisions enabling students to make smooth transitions between programs and eventually earn bachelors’ degrees.

In other words, with careful planning and solid counseling support, a student can enter a community college, complete certain specified requirements, and then automatically transfer to a four-year degree-granting program from which he or she may ultimately graduate. 

For example, a student earning an associate’s degree at Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) who has followed specific guidelines (available on the NOVA website) may have guaranteed admission to any of the following colleges and universities (the complete list may be found on the NOVA website):
Montgomery College also has many exciting guaranteed admission programs with scholarship dollars at several Maryland universities and colleges including the University of Maryland—College Park, Towson University, UMBC, UMUC, Morgan State University, and Shepherd University in West Virginia.  Additional articulation agreements covering transfer arrangements with even more colleges and universities are listed on the ARTSYS website.

These are actually pretty sweet deals that can save thousands of dollars. Regardless of the route taken, the student comes out with the same credential—only cheaper!

But as always, be sure to read the agreements carefully as they may guarantee admission to a college or university and not to a specific program.

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