Transfer All of Your College Credits Successfully

Transfer All of Your College Credits Successfully
  • Opening Intro -

    More students start school at one college and get their degree at another college then you might think. In April 2010, "The New York Times" reported that the college transfer rate is approximately one in three students for both two- and four-year institutions.


Be prepared to defend your academic record.

Students may transfer for any number of reasons including to change their school environment, find a school closer to home, seek a lower cost education option or to find a program that is not available at their current school. Transferring, however, is not a slam dunk — credits must be accepted by the new school and not all credits will transfer. Classes that don’t transfer will not be counted toward your degree, costing you time and much money.

Here are the steps to successfully transferring to a new college:

1. Obtain your transcripts — The college you will be transferring your credits to will want to see your official transcripts. Be prepared to have these sent from your current institution to your new school.

2. Set up an interview — You’ll need to meet with an adviser at your new school to arrange for a transfer. Bring with you a copy of your college catalog with each of the classes you have taken circled and bookmarked. This will help you in the event that a course offered at your old school is not offered at your new school. The adviser may accept that course as an elective toward your degree.

3. Prepare to negotiate — Armed with a copy of your unofficial transcripts (only official transcripts are sent from college to college) and your course catalog, be prepared to make a case for any class that is of questionable content. Familiarize yourself with your new school’s curriculum and make your case. For example, that “Accounts Concepts and Applications” course at your old school may be just another name for “Accounting Principles 1” at your new school.

4. Take it up a notch — If one or more courses is denied transfer, but you believe that your new school should accept the credit, you can request a meeting with the department head to explain your case. You may have to bring with you notes from that class as well as tests and papers. Ultimately, the department head will make the final decision whether a course can be transferred, therefore have all of your information together for what will likely be your last chance to make your case.


If the school you currently attend is not accredited or its coursework is not recognized by other schools, then your credits may not be transferrable. Some schools have articulation agreements with other schools, making it easy for you to move credits from one school to another. For example, in many states technical or community college students can transfer credits to state four-year and some private colleges. Find out from the school you want to attend how readily your credits will be accepted.

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