Transferring your college credits to a new college not only saves you time, but it saves you money. There is no sense in repeating courses when transferring from an associate degree to a bachelor’s degree or because you need to change colleges because of a move. Learning how to transfer college credits lets you stay on track for your degree so you can finish in the time you expected before you decided to make a change.
How to Transfer Colleges
Before you transfer, you need to check several items:
- Will the college you intend to attend accept most or all of your credits?
- Is the college accredited?
- Does the college have the courses you need to complete your degree or to further your education for a higher degree?
- Does the college offer online classes?
- Does the college offer the courses you need at times that fit your schedule?
- What is the cost of the college?
- What kind of student scholarships and/or loans can you hope to receive?
If you need more flexibility from your education, consider a college that offers online classes and on-campus classes for an option that lets you combine these types of learning experiences, such as Post University. Once you decide on your school and are accepted, you can then transfer your credits.
Reasons for Later Credit Transfers Between Colleges
You might need to transfer college credit for any number of reasons. Take a two-year or associate degree program, for example. Some students start with a two-year degree to see if they can juggle college with family and work responsibilities. Others might start with a two-year degree to get into a certain field, then find that they want to make a bigger career impact in that field. In other cases, the college near them might not have offered a bachelor’s degree in their chosen course of study, so they started with a two-year degree.
And, sometimes, the four-year college doesn’t offer the track want, but does offer the general education or basic courses needed for the degree. In that case, you might start at one four-year college with plans to transfer to another one later down line, one that does offer your field of study.
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Finally, life sometimes gets in the way. Illness, rising costs, a change in work schedule, the need to go to work, or even starting a family can interrupt studies and disrupt college plans.
When you are ready to go back, you may want to change schools, or you may not have a choice because you moved to a different city. Transferring credits allows you to pick up where you left off without losing the money you paid for those credits, and without having to take courses over again.
Transferring a Bachelor’s Degree
For every class you take—and pass—you get college credits. Most courses are worth three credits. If you want to earn a bachelor’s degree, you’ll typically need about 120 credits of required coursework. If you stay at the same college, there isn’t any need for transferring credits. However, if you want to change colleges, you have to find out which class credits transfer. If you have 60 credits toward your bachelor’s, but the college you want only accepts credits for specific classes, you may “lose” those credits at your new school. In other words, you’ll have to make up some of those credits.
In most cases, they’ll be different courses. In others, you may wind up “retaking” the same course—one that has the same name but different content. For example, if you take a course that has real estate classes, those credits may not transfer from a college in one state to a college in another state because the real estate laws are different for each state.
Additionally, each school has its own policy for which credits it will accept. For every credit a school doesn’t accept, you’ll have to add more time to get your bachelor’s degree. You may even have to repeat classes that the school does not accept, especially if the class curriculum updates from year to year.
What to Look for When Transferring a Bachelor’s Degree
- If you are changing from a Connecticut community college, check to see if your school has an articulation agreement with a local four-year school like Post University.
- If you choose an unaccredited school to transfer to, or you are shifting away from an unaccredited school, some or all of your credits may not transfer.
- Check to see if the school you’re transferring into has a grade requirement to transfer a course’s credit. For example, a course may transfer only if you received a “B” or higher.
- How long ago did you take the class? If it’s for a course that doesn’t change its curriculum, the credits often transfer, even if it was years since you took the course. If the course curriculum changes over time because the information is updated, your credits may not transfer. For example, computers have come a long way in the past 10 years—those credits may not transfer.
- Are your credits relevant to your new course of study? If you focused on a course of study based on math and science, but are now changing to social studies, some of the math and science credits may not transfer.
You can look at the courses you completed and the courses offered at the new school to get a good idea of how many may transfer. However, the only way to know for sure is to start the application process so your new school can review the classes you took.
Steps to Transfer College Credit for a Bachelor’s Degree
Apply to the school of your choice to start the process. Ask the Registrar of Records from your existing school to forward your transcripts to your new school. This process does take some time, so you’ll want to apply a couple of months before the new semester. You can also expect to be charged a fee to transfer your records. You may also have to forward your high school transcripts.
Once your new school gets your transcripts, it will review and assess your records, along with your application. The new school will then notify you of the credits that will transfer.
Review Post University’s Programs
Because every university has its own criteria for accepting credits, there is never a guarantee that yours will transfer. However, you have a better chance of getting more credits transferred by picking a school that is transfer-friendly, one that supports continuing students or returning students.
Work with the new school to make sure you know all of your options. Some schools have a checklist or may offer ideas that you didn’t think about. Also, you can ask for credit for work-related experience in some areas. Your professional experience sometimes transfers to college credit.
Contact Post University today to start the transfer process and to learn how many of your credits will transfer so you can finish your bachelor’s degree. We consider all classes you took, your work history and other factors to make sure we can offer you the best results from all the work you put in to get where you are now.