Transfer Credit: Everything You Need to Know

This term refers to credit awarded for the purpose of completion of a degree based on having taken certain courses at another recognized school. This is most frequently done after a student completes courses at a two-year community college and seeks admission to a four-year university. If accepted, the student may be able to apply the already-earned credits to their degree by transferring them from the old institution to the new one. After receiving a student’s request to transfer credits and academic transcript, an institution determines the best way to apply those credits according to its academic policies.

Transfer credit usually covers formal coursework. External training credits, experiential learning credits, and credit by examinations are all considered transfer credits. However, all courses aren’t necessarily counted as transfer credits. For example, Remedial Course Credits and Continuing Education Units aren’t generally counted as transfer credits.

Anyone trying to transfer their college credits to a university needs to be aware of certain facts because the majority of these higher learning institutions have strict curriculum and accreditation standards. These include:

Accreditation: Most regionally accredited institutions only acknowledge transfer credits from other regionally accredited institutions. It means that most state universities and colleges only accept credits from each other. Therefore, students transferring from nationally accredited institutions may need to start their degrees over.

College credit transfers: When it comes to transferring credits between schools that have mutually accepted accreditation standards, curriculum equivalency plays a crucial role. A college credit has to have the same or higher level of academic rigorousness, integrity, and quality to be acknowledged by another school. A letter from the previous school administrator or instructor may help a student if the new school rejects their credit transfer.

The transfer process: Almost all universities and colleges will require official transcripts. If a higher learning institution accepts unofficial transcripts directly from the applicants, it may be a red flag. Once a student’s transcripts arrive, the school’s admission department compares the class descriptions of the previous college to the corresponding class descriptions. The process may take some weeks because the new school has to ensure that its academic standards are met or exceeded.

It’s also important to understand that credits earned in the past may not be of any help. For some individuals, their first attempt at college might have happened decades ago. In that case, they may have to retake some courses. This is because when it comes to transferring credits, most universities and colleges enforce a time limit.

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