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What Are Transfer Credits? All You Should Know
If you have passed a college-level course at an accredited institute of higher education, you most likely earned transferable credits. If you are planning on transferring to a different university, those credits can help you get ahead or pick up where you left off! Let’s learn more about transfer credits and how they fit into your educational journey.
What exactly are transfer credits?
Transfer credits are college-level credits that were earned at one institution that can be used, or “transferred” into another institution. This means that students will not have to retake classes that they already took and passed. Transfer credits make it possible for students to switch schools and complete their degrees without needing to retake certain courses.
What types of credits are transferable?
Typically, there are a few factors that determine whether credits are transferable to a different institution:
The final grade of the course you have taken determines whether or not it can be transferred to another institution. Typically, a grade of “C” or higher is necessary for transfer to another institution.
If a course was taken at an accredited college or university, it ensures that it meets certain academic standards. If a particular course is applicable to the major, credits from accredited schools are usually accepted by different institutions.
It is critical that the course taken at a different institution matches the content of a course at the intended institution. This ensures that you are not missing out on any information from the course you are replacing with your transfer credit. In addition, the course content should be relevant to the degree you are attempting to earn. For example, a library course may not qualify for credit towards a computer science degree.
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When and where the course was taken
Technically, college credits should not expire; however, the likelihood that they will transfer into a program may diminish over time. Therefore, it is best to try to transfer all of your credits at one time instead of waiting until the last minute.
There are many places and opportunities to earn credits that can be transferred. Some include:
Also see: Guide to transferring colleges
How to determine whether your credits will transfer
Select a transfer-friendly institution
To determine whether your credits will transfer, you should first research and select an institution with a transfer-friendly program. Meaning, some colleges and universities have a more generous acceptance of previously earned credits. Therefore, research which colleges accept the most credits for a smooth transfer process and ensure that you won’t fall behind.
Release: What is Transferology and how does it work?
Just as you should research transfer-friendly institutions, you should also research to see if the universities you are interested in have online tools to understand how many of your credits can be transferred. This will provide you with a good sense of what classes you may need to take if you transfer there.
Apply to schools
Once you have compiled a solid list of schools, you should then apply! Transfer credit typically will not be officially evaluated until you have applied to those institutions.
Submit your transcripts
Once you have applied, compile your official transcripts from the previous school(s) or courses you have taken to send to the potential institutions. Typically, you will have to contact your previous institution’s office to have your official transcripts sent over to your new school. It is also important to recognize that typically there is a fee associated when requesting “official” transcripts.
Review your credit evaluation
After waiting for a few weeks, you should receive a credit evaluation, which details how many credits are transferable. If there are any issues or you have questions about why some credits transferred and others did not, you should contact your admissions officer.
Related: How to transfer colleges: A step-by-step guide
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Frequently asked questions about transfer credits
How many credits can I transfer?
Can you transfer credits to an online program?
Do transfer credits affect my GPA?
Also see: Can you transfer into an ivy league?