Top 5 Reasons to Earn Your Associate Degree (Even if you want to transfer)

Starting at community college but have your sights set on a four-year degree? Think you’ll take a few courses then transfer? Then read this—there are at least five reasons you should reconsider and get an associate degree before you transfer.

1. Take Advantage of Transfer Agreements

Finishing your AA or AS degree gives you some state-guaranteed privileges when you transfer to a four-year college or university. If you complete the requirements for one of the 60+60 majors in Colorado, you have a guaranteed transfer degree. All of your lower-division credits will transfer, and you will start as a junior ready to jump into your major courses.

Tuition Savings

2. Save Your Money

Taking as many credits as you possibly can at a community college saves you big bucks.  With four-year college and university tuition rising at double-digit rates every year, it makes sense to save your cash by finishing your 60-credit associate degree at community college tuition rates.


3. Increase Your Earning Potential

In addition to saving on tuition bills, earning your associate degree—whether a transfer degree or a career-technical degree—can dramatically increase your lifetime earnings compared to your potential with just a high school diploma or GED. Some people estimate the increased earnings at over a million dollars!

4. Solidify Your Credits

When students transfer to four-year colleges and universities, they have the best intentions. But if for some reason earning a bachelor’s degree needs to be put on hold for personal, family, employment, financial or other reasons, you will still have a degree!

5. Finish What You Start

Finally, there’s something to be said for finishing what you start. Being able to show yourself, your family, friends, and employers that you have the ability to set goals and achieve them is powerful. I encourage you to keep working toward your educational dreams. We’re here to help you every step of the way.

Not everyone should get an associate degree—some majors at four-year schools really require you to transfer earlier. So talk carefully to an advisor. Then get going!

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Andy Dorsey is the President of Front Range Community College. He joined FRCC in 1993, teaching psychology and economics and earning Master Teacher honors in 1999. Before becoming an educator, he worked as a project manager in two businesses, non-profit manager, and legislative director for a Congressman.