VCCS Transfer Planning Checklist

1. Meet with your community college academic advisor and create an academic plan

  • How many classes will you take each term? Points to consider:
    • Do you have other personal or family responsibilities?  Will you be working?  How many hours per week?  Find a balance between your academic and non-academic responsibilities. 
    • To be eligible for financial aid, you need to take at least 6 credits per term (for part-time aid) or 12 credits per term (for full-time aid).
    • To complete a bachelor’s degree in four years (e.g., two at a community college followed by two at VCU), you should plan on completing at least 30 credits per year. Take classes over the summer to spread out your course load. 
  • Review the transfer map for your intended VCU major.  Does your intended VCU major have prerequisites to consider when planning your class schedule at community college?  For example, should you start your math and science courses early?
  • Do you have other types of college credit?  For example, Advanced Placement (AP), military credit, or credit from other colleges.  If so, contact your VCU Transfer Center advisor to explore how those credits will transfer to VCU.

2. Select your VCU major and review its transfer map

  • What are the admission requirements for the major?  Are you guaranteed admission with an associate degree or is admission to the program competitive?
  • Which associate degree (or Uniform Certificate of General Studies) is recommended for this major?
  • Are the jobs associated with this major appealing to you?
  • What concrete actions can you take to prepare for this major and a career after graduation?
  • What courses should you take for this major at community college?
  • Are the required courses for this major appealing to you?

3. Estimate the cost of attendance at community college:

  • Are you planning to complete the one-year Uniform Certificate of General Studies (32 credits) or a two-year associate degree (60 credits)?
  • Use the net price calculator on your community college’s website to estimate your costs per year and your potential eligibility for financial aid.  This calculator only provides an estimate.  Cost of attendance and financial aid availability change from year to year.
  • Create a budget plan.

4. Research how you will pay for your college education: 

  • Understand how financial aid works.
  • Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year and do it early; the priority filing deadline is usually well before the start of each new academic year.  Financial aid offices use your FAFSA information to determine your eligibility for financial aid.   
  • Explore the types of aid available at community college.  For example, are you eligible for the G3 tuition assistance program?  
  • Keep in mind that grants and scholarships usually have term limits.  For example, the term limit for the federal Pell grant is 12 terms or 6 years to complete a bachelor’s degree.  More time spent at community college means less grant funds after transfer.  
  • Make sure you stay eligible for financial aid by maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress

5. Estimate the cost of attendance at VCU:

  • How many credits do you plan on taking at VCU each term?  To graduate in two years after earning an associate degree, you should plan on taking an average of 15 credits per term or 30 credits per year.
  • Estimate your tuition and fees by using VCU’s Tuition and Fees Calculator.
  • Where will you live and how much will it cost?  On-campus housing options at VCU for transfer students are limited.  If you plan to rent in Richmond, research off-campus housing options.
  • Explore the types of aid available at VCU.  For example, are you eligible for the Two-Year College Transfer Grant
  • Create a budget plan.

6. Review VCU application requirements:

  • Review the application requirements and deadlines for transfer students.  Programs with competitive admission requirements may have earlier deadlines.
  • Are you a high school student taking dual enrollment classes?  Review the application requirements and deadlines for first-year students.  
  • Do you have questions about the application process?  Contact the Office of Admissions at

7. Apply to VCU.

Ready to transfer?

Visit VCU's transfer admissions page for a detailed list of transfer information, including deadlines and requirements.