Knowing how to transfer college credit is essential if you are resuming college after a long break or want to graduate from a different college. In either case, transferring college credits will save you tuition fees and time. Many colleges are credit transfer-friendly and can accept your old college credits from different colleges or schools.
In this article, I will explain the step-by-step procedure for transferring your college credits. This article includes knowing which credits are accepted and guidelines for maximizing the college credits that are transferred.
1. Research about transfer policies before joining
Research about the transfer policies of your new college. Look for what type of transfer credits and how many of them your college accepts. You can look for this information by searching on their website as given below:
- Get a transcript from your old college to have the details of the credits.
- Find the latest academic course catalog on your new college website.
- Compare the credits you have, according to your old college’s transcript, with the new college’s course catalog. Notice which transfer courses are the same or similar in the course catalog by comparing course descriptions, prerequisites, titles, codes, etc.
- Check whether your new college accepts transfer credit for your preferred degree by reviewing the degree’s requirements on the website.
One way to get college credit without taking classes is through Credit by Examination programs. Tests such as the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) or Advanced Placement (AP) exams allow students to demonstrate proficiency in specific subjects. Additionally, some institutions offer credit for prior learning or experiences, such as professional certifications, military service, or portfolio assessments, granting college credits based on demonstrated knowledge and skills.
2. Join a transfer-friendly college.
Join a college that accepts all or most of your transfer credits to save money and time. Usually, colleges accept 15-90 transfer credits. It may happen that your favorite college may not accept as many college credits as some other college. In such a case, as long as the college is regionally accredited, choose the other college that accepts more credits.
3. Do general education and elective courses.
Do general education and free elective courses in your old college. Some colleges have strict regulations and require a student to do major-specific courses from their college. So, if you are thinking about changing colleges in future, choose general education and elective courses as they are easily accepted as transfer credits.
Accelerate credits by exams, transfer credits, or prior learning assessments for faster progress through college.
4. Take help from the Admissions Advisor.
Take help from an admissions advisor at your new college. Ask him how to transfer college credits and the process of transferring. Ask him which college credits and how many of them they accept. Then, follow the transfer process laid out by him. It usually takes 4 weeks for colleges to evaluate your college credits and accept them.
Financial Aid for Transfer Students
Financial aid doesn’t transfer with you to a new institution. You need to request your old school to send FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) to your new college. Once the FAFSA is received, the new school will give you an updated financial aid package. Check which financial aid form your college accepts, as different colleges may accept different forms like CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE.
To apply for financial aid at your new college, do the following:
- Complete the FAFSA to find out if you are eligible for federal aid, including grants, loans, etc.
- Complete CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE if your college accepts it for giving non-federal aid.
- Renew the FAFSA every year and submit it again.
For more details, consult the financial aid office at your new college.
Earn college credit for relevant work experience through prior learning assessments, showcasing skills and knowledge for academic recognition and advancement.
Transferring most of your college credits to your new college can save you precious money and time. Most colleges easily accept general education and elective credits. If you already intend to change college in the future, do these courses and save the major-specific courses for your future college.