Thursday, February 21, 2019

Tips for Successfully Transferring to a University: Visit the Campus

Get ready for the Feb. 26 Transfer Fair on the Gallatin campus. There will be university reps on site, in the Nichols Dining Room B from 10am-2pm. Here are some more tips about transfer.
Just like a postcard does not give you the full experience of visiting a popular vacation spot, there is only so much you can learn from a university’s website or brochure. You need to go in person!
If you are interested in transferring to a university after you graduate from Vol State, visit the campus. If you can, attend an event for prospective transfers. Why is this so important?

This is your opportunity to get to know the university and find out if it is the right fit for you! It does not matter if it was a good fit for your friend, significant other, parent, grandparent, etc. College should be a great experience for you. You owe it to yourself to find the right place.
Here are some tips for getting the most out of your university campus visit:
·         Take a tour, and get some freebies! Visiting in person gives you the “vibe” of the campus. How you feel when you are there is more important than you might think. We have known students who were all set to go to a particular university but as soon as they got there to visit or even to start school, the vibe was “off” for them and it did not feel right. We have also known students who were not excited about a school until they stepped onto the campus and realized what a great fit it was for them. It gets real when you go in person. Plus, you will usually get some free swag when you visit in person!
·         Bring a friend or relative with you to your campus visit. Get their feedback as well. You’ll likely be on information overload by the end of the visit and your companion may have caught things you missed.
·         Make an appointment to meet with a professor. If he or she allows, sit in on a class. How many students are in the class? Was the topic interesting and interactive? What were your impressions?
·         What are the housing options? On campus and off campus? Is it required for you to live on campus as a transfer student? Are there residence halls or on-campus apartments designed for transfer students? When is the deadline to apply for housing? If you want to live off campus, how much does it cost to live near campus? Do you have to live far away from campus and fight traffic to find affordable off-campus housing?
·         How much does it cost to park on campus? Is public transportation available? Parking is often much trickier and more expensive at a university than at Vol State, especially for students commuting from off campus. If you live on campus at the university, you can walk to class rather than dealing with traffic and competing for a parking spot. Is public transportation (i.e. bus, subway, etc.) available? Do students get a discount to use these services?
·         What is the town/city like? Do you prefer a suburban college town or a bustling, urban city? What is the climate? Is the campus in a safe area? Is there a security office or police department on campus?
If you cannot afford to visit the campus or cannot take a day off work, etc., many universities have virtual campus tours that you can take online. You can also ask your transfer admissions counselor the above questions. But we highly recommend that you visit in person, especially if you have been admitted to the university and it has made your short list of options.
Preparing to transfer to a university does not have to be overwhelming. The sooner you start researching, the more confident you will be about your next steps after you walk the stage and graduate from Vol State!
Lindsay Guenther  and Josie Larson are full-time advisors at the Gallatin campus.
©2018 Lindsay Guenther, Josie Larson, Rebecca Adair

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Tips for Successfully Transferring to a University: Financial Questions

Are you thinking about transferring to a university after you graduate from Vol State but you’re concerned about how to pay for it? Universities cost more than community colleges, and Tennessee Promise and Tennessee Reconnect do not apply toward a bachelor’s degree at a university. But the good news is there are multiple ways to get money for school. Here are some things to look for:
·         How much does it cost to attend the university? Get the actual amounts without financial aid or scholarships. If you paid completely out of pocket, how much would it be each semester? Can you do a payment plan? Most universities should have a “net price calculator” on their website to give you an estimate of the cost including aid. Remember that public universities in Tennessee usually cost less than colleges out of state. Also, private universities in Tennessee will typically cost significantly more than public ones because they are not funded by the state. No matter where you transfer, you will need to find out about financial aid and scholarships.
·         How much does financial aid usually cover for most students? Most financial aid is awarded based on income. Submit your FAFSA to all universities to which you apply. Financial aid can include grants (free money from the government such as PELL), student loans (money you pay back after you have been out of school for a certain period of time), and scholarships (free money based on GPA, minority status, church affiliation, honor society membership, etc.) Sources of aid can include the federal and state government, the universities themselves, and also private sources. Colleges may have separate scholarship applications and deadlines apart from admissions, so check their websites. Once you have applied for university scholarships, look for private scholarships through search engines such as,, and
·         Are there scholarship opportunities for transfer students? Some universities reserve most of their scholarship money for entering freshmen. Other universities offer guaranteed scholarships for transfer students with associate’s degrees and certain GPA minimums. Scholarships vary widely based on the school, your financial need, academic merit, and other factors. Submit your FAFSA to all schools you are considering and apply for as many private scholarships as possible.
Don’t assume that a bachelor’s degree is out of reach due to cost. There are many affordable, reputable universities out there. When you add in financial aid and scholarships, a bachelor’s degree can be very feasible. And, remember that the better your grades are at Vol State, the more opportunities you may have at universities.

Lindsay Guenther  and Josie Larson are full-time advisors at the Gallatin campus.
©2018 Lindsay Guenther, Josie Larson, Rebecca Adair

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Tips for Successfully Transferring to a University: Academic Questions

Are you considering transferring to a university after you graduate from Vol State? It’s never too early to start checking out options. What do you need to know about the academic side? Here are a few questions to ask:
·         Is the university regionally accredited? There are many different kinds of accreditations (i.e. regional, national, industry-specific, etc.) which demonstrate that a university has met a certain set of official criteria of excellence. Not all accreditations are the same! If a school is not regionally accredited, then it will be very hard for you to transfer credits from there to any other school if you decide to continue your education after graduating with them.
·         Does the university have the major you want? If you aren’t sure what major you want to do, the Advising Center in Ramer 174 can assist you with major and career exploration. If you want to pursue a major that the university has but that Vol State does not, you might consider majoring in General Studies at Vol State. This degree program allows you more flexibility to take Vol State courses recommended by the university that don’t fit perfectly into another degree program. Contact the Advising Center at 615-230-3702 for more information.
·         How competitive is the university and/or the major? Some schools have guaranteed objective admissions standards (i.e. a minimum GPA, ACT score, etc.) Others have a subjective, holistic approach in which they consider GPA and scores as well as writing samples, extracurricular activities, etc. Remember that being admitted to the university does not guarantee admission to your major of choice. Some majors (i.e. business, education, health sciences) have separate, often more rigorous, admissions standards. If there are a limited number of seats in the program, meeting the minimum criteria might not be enough to get admitted. If the university and/or major are competitive, make sure you have a less competitive backup plan.
·         How will your Volunteer State credits transfer? It’s not enough to know if your credits will transfer. You need to know how they will transfer. Will they count as electives, or will they satisfy specific degree requirements? Tennessee Transfer Pathway (TTP) degrees are designed to transfer smoothly to all participating public universities in Tennessee and some private ones, but some universities do not always follow the TTPs perfectly. Also not every TTP is accepted by every university. It is always best to consult with an advisor at the university to make sure your classes will transfer smoothly. See if the university has an updated equivalency chart showing which Vol State courses are equivalent to which courses at the university.
Knowing that a university is regionally accredited, has the program you want, and will accept your courses toward your degree of choice will help you to save time, money, and stress.
Lindsay Guenther  and Josie Larson are full-time advisors at the Gallatin campus.
©2018 Lindsay Guenther, Josie Larson, Rebecca Adair

Monday, February 18, 2019

This Week at Vol State

Feb. 18                 Tennessee State University representative, Wood Campus Center main hallway, 11 am – 2 pm
Feb. 18                 Film Screening: 13th, documentary, Rochelle Center of Thigpen Library, 11:15am
Feb. 19                 Film Screening: Thank-You for Your Service, veteran movie, Nichols Dining Room B, 11am-1pm
Feb. 20                 Lipscomb University representative, Wood Campus Center main hallway, 10 am – 2 pm
Feb. 20                 SkillsUSA info, Cookeville Atrium, 12:30-5pm
Feb. 20                 Film Screening: 13th, documentary, public event, Nichols Dining Room B, 6pm
Feb 21                   Cumberland University representative, Wood Campus Center main hallway, 10 am – 2 pm
Feb. 21                 SkillsUSA info, Cookeville Atrium, 12:30-5pm
Feb. 21                 International Film Series, Cinema Paradiso, Caudill Hall auditorium, 5:30pm

Friday, February 15, 2019

Love One, Help One: A Baby Product Drive

Perhaps you’ve heard of The Feed; it’s our on campus food bank.

In addition to providing non-perishable food items to our students, The Feed also offers school supplies, hygiene items, and baby products.

It’s come to our recent attention that The Feed is severely lacking baby products.

“We have a lot of students that are single parents and they’re utilizing The Feed. By having baby products available helps to free some of their money up to pay bills elsewhere. Having those diapers, wipes, bottles, baby food, those types of items, helps them to be able to sustain themselves for the next week to two weeks,” said Lori Miller of Diversity and Inclusion.

In attempts to bridge the gap by helping our fellow students provide items for their children, Honors students are currently hosting a baby product drive; we need your help!

We’re asking for donations for the following items:

-Baby Formula/Jarred Food
-Any Other Baby Products

Donations are being collected in room 217 of the Wood Campus Center. We thank you in advance for your support.

-By Rachel Keyes

Tips for Successfully Transferring to a University: Starting the Search

Are you considering transferring to a university after you graduate from Vol State? It’s never too early to prepare. Don’t wait until your last semester!
Vol State has several opportunities over the next few weeks for you to meet with admissions representatives right here on campus:
·        University Transfer Fair – Tuesday, February 26, from 10 am - 2 pm in the Mary Cole Nichols Dining room in the Wood Campus Center. Many universities will be represented.
·        University information tables in the Wood Campus Center main hallway (check your email and social media for upcoming dates and times). Several universities have already visited, and there are several more coming through the end of March.
Not sure how to start researching universities? Here are some tips:
·         Make a list of all of the universities you are interested in exploring. Create a spreadsheet and put the names of the universities in the first row across the top, one column per university.
·         Make a list of all of the questions you have and things you want to know about each university. Put those questions down the left side of the spreadsheet in the first column, one question per row.
·         Start with the university’s admissions website and read through the information. You may find answers to a lot of your questions there. Put the answers in your spreadsheet.
·         Find a transfer admissions counselor. An admissions counselor is your preliminary guide for the university. Let them know you’re attending Vol State and you’re considering transferring after you graduate with your associate’s degree. They can send you links to information, tell you how to apply, what events are coming up for prospective transfers, etc. Keep in mind, however, that an admissions counselor typically does not do academic advising.
·         Find an academic advisor. Your transfer admissions counselor may be able to point you to the right person. This might be a faculty advisor or a full-time advisor. Ask them if you can make an appointment to look at your transcript and discuss how your Vol State credits will transfer, and what other courses would be accepted in transfer.
Lots of university information is at your fingertips. Keep it organized and get excited about all the opportunities out there!

Lindsay Guenther  and Josie Larson are full-time advisors at the Gallatin campus.
©2018 Lindsay Guenther, Josie Larson, Rebecca Adair

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Student Spotlight: Michael Mullins

Michael Mullins has been playing piano since he was nine, but found his immense love for music during a high school performance with his show choir; he doesn’t show signs of stopping anytime soon.

“Just singing in front of everyone, hearing the applause, that’s really what did it for me. I was like, ‘this is what I want to do.’ It’s almost like I was on a four wheeler or a dirt bike, doing a wheelie for the first time, the adrenaline rush, that’s almost how it is every time I sing in front of somebody, and I’m addicted to it,” he said.

He’s now a student of our new Professional Music program here at Vol State, where he was first encouraged to pick up a guitar only four months ago.

“I was told I’d never make it in the country music industry if I don’t play acoustic guitar. So, that’s what’s driven me to learn it so fast and to keep learning. I’m no expert by any means, but every day is a new day … I’m excited to see what I can do in the next couple of months.”

Michael said he writes about two to three songs per week. He frequently performs his original music at shows in Tennessee. He’s still contemplating his plans after Vol State and said he’s excited for whatever comes his way in life.

“I get that it’s hard. I get that it’s a huge competition and industry. But, it’s music, it’s what I love. It’s a huge part of my life, that’s why I’m wanting to spend the rest of my life on a stage.”

Here’s a plot twist, Mullins is also a volunteer firefighter in Pleasant View, Tennessee; he said wanted the life experience of it, yet he remains laser focused on his musicianship.

For more information on our Professional Music program please visit:

-By Rachel Keyes