Thank you for your interest in getting started at Black Hawk College. We hope this website is a useful resource for you as you navigate the college application process.
Here you will find answers to some of the questions that students frequently ask us. If you have questions that are not answered here or elsewhere on our website, please contact us.
What are the benefits of completing an Associate in Arts (AA), Associate in Science (AS) or Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree?
Completing an AA or AS degree has the benefit of program and/or course equivalency agreements which have been negotiated with four-year colleges and universities that allow you to transfer as a junior.
AA degree completion also fulfills the lower division general education requirements of many transfer schools.
The AS degree emphasizes math and science more than the AA does. In most cases, students transferring to an Illinois 4-year college or university will complete the lower division general education courses after transfer (one additional course in Humanities or Fine Arts and one additional course in Social and Behavioral Sciences). Some schools will not accept an AS, so plan your degree choice with your advisor.
The AAS degree prepares students for immediate employment following program completion. The degree emphasizes field-specific training combined with fewer general education courses. However, BHC supports transfer for AAS & career Certificate students – see the planning guides at Transfer from Career Programs.
Both degrees require 60 credits to complete but there are slight differences. The AA includes the complete IAI General Education Core Curriculum. The AS has a slightly higher math and science course requirement. AS degree students have the option to take a couple of additional courses at BHC or after transfer (to an Illinois institution) if they want to also complete the IAI GECC.
Check with a Black Hawk College advisor or the admissions representative at your transfer school to determine if the AA or AS best meets your transfer goals.
I know what my transfer major will be, but haven’t decided where to transfer. Which courses should I take?
You can begin your education with Sample Transfer Plans and discuss your goals with a BHC advisor. Since major requirements vary from one transfer school to another, you should select a transfer school as soon as possible and follow their recommendations. We recommend applying to transfer schools by the time you complete 30 credits.
Most colleges and universities will allow you to transfer at least 60 community college semester hours. Some BHC transfer partners will apply a higher number of your credits to the bachelor degree. All transfer schools have a “residency” requirement, meaning minimum hours must be earned at their institution (many require 30 hours, some more, and some even fewer). Also, of the total hours required for most bachelor degrees, usually about one-third are taken at upper division (300- or 400-level). Discuss your transfer school ideas with your BHC advisor to decide when it’s best to transfer and consult our Explore Colleges and Universities page.
Apply up to one year in advance of the term you plan to transfer. Most colleges and universities have application deadlines by which the admission application and all supporting documents (transcripts, essay, etc.) must be submitted. The deadline is often two to five months prior to the start of the term you start, but some schools allow students to apply as late as a few weeks before classes begin. Waiting is not recommended though – apply early! Also check when your transfer school needs your financial aid information – apply early for all aid you’re eligible to receive.
Most colleges and universities determine your eligibility for admission based on your college record once you’ve earned a specified number of college credit hours (usually 12-30 hours). If you transfer with fewer credits, you will be asked to follow freshman admission requirements including providing your high school transcript.
After you apply to your transfer school you should send any supporting documents required such as your college transcripts. Follow directions on the transfer school’s checklist. You should also complete financial aid and scholarship applications and begin making housing arrangements if you will be living away from home. Note when you are expected to attend orientation, register and pay for classes, and move to the campus.
Complete the FAFSA and the school-specific scholarship applications by the deadline. Earning excellent grades will also improve your chances of earning a merit scholarship which are automatically awarded based on your grade point average; the higher your GPA, the more money you are eligible to receive. Students who join the Phi Theta Kappa honor society while at BHC may be eligible for additional scholarships. (Phi Theta Kappa is open to students who have a grade point average of 3.5 or higher.)
Look closely at the general financial aid webpage for your transfer school, as well as their admissions page and the department pages for your major. Different scholarship opportunities may be shown in all these places. Also ask the admission staff about other sources of funds the college may offer transfer students i.e. campus visit awards, early FAFSA filer, out-of-state-student award, etc.