Being able to transfer your credits from a previous school or get credit for experience you have gained in your work life is the key to completing a college degree faster and at the lowest possible cost. Here’s a listing of some of the most credit transfer-friendly colleges and universities in the U.S. that give online degrees.
Kaplan University is a very large and well-known online school, with over 270 online degree programs across the full range of certificate, associate, bachelors and graduate levels. It offers numerous “advanced start” degrees in communications, many different business specialties, information technology, teaching, health science and criminal justice.
- Kaplan can accept up to 75% of credits for undergraduate degrees from previous learning at another school. At least 50% of the major or “core” requirements for your degree need to be taken from Kaplan.
- No more than 50% of total credits will be accepted in transfer toward a certificate program.
- Transfer or prior learning credit can be given, pending a review by Kaplan, for either college courses documented on an official transcript or through experiential credit.
- Credits can be awarded for CLEP, DANTES, AP, DLPT or ET test passage.
- The student needs to get credit approval before starting school at Kaplan.
- Kaplan also has agreements with a large number of community colleges around the U.S. that ease transfer of credits toward a full bachelor’s degree at Kaplan.
Western Governors is an unusual school that puts a big focus on serving the needs of adult learners and providing degrees at affordable rates. The school has received a good deal of very positive press coverage in recent years. Although WGU does have a basic credit system, it places far more emphasis on students demonstrating competency in key subjects than on simply piling up credit hours. It’s accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, one of the top accrediting agencies.
Western Governor’s specializes in bachelors and masters degrees in business, computers and IT, education and health and nursing. The degree offerings are particularly wide in the teaching and education area.
- Accepts credit transfer either from a full associate degree program at another school, or for previous schoolwork based on a course-by-course transcript evaluation.
Credit given only for pre-determined course subjects as follows.
- Nursing RN to BSN: up to 99 credit units can be accepted for previous schoolwork or for possessing an RN license.
- Business or Teaching degrees: up to 60 credits can be transferred in, depending on course review.
- Information Technology: up to 61 credits transferrable.
Capella University has two completion degree programs at the bachelor’s level – one in business and another in information technology. Credits from a previous school can be used toward your new degree if you submit a “petition for credit” with the admissions office. You may also be able to get credits for work experience you have had a prior learning assessment, where you will submit documents and possibly write an essay about how your experience relates to the degree you want to get at Capella.
- On bachelor’s degrees, school will accept (based on prior learning assessment) up to 75% of credits toward total program from your previous school or schools.
- Up to half of those credits can be as a result of experiential or on the job learning learning, after prior learning assessment – a very friendly policy for adult learners.
- Up to 45 credits can be awarded for passing CLEP tests.
- Capella also gives credit though DANTES tests, AP tests and IB Diploma scores.
- Also offers an online RN to BSN completion degree in nursing.
AIU, a large online school, gained attention earlier this year by announcing that it would take up to 75% of all credits toward its bachelor degrees. That effectively turns all the 20-plus bachelor degrees the school offers online into completion programs. AIU is a bit different in that its quarterly schedule means you need 180 credits for a BA or BS, though in general the number of courses will be generally similar to what you would take to earn 120 credits on most bachelor programs. The school has a vast number of bachelor degree programs online in business, computers & information technology, nursing and criminal justice. Some of the key rules on transferring credits toward an AIU bachelor’s degree:
- Credits you took for an associate’s degree at another school can be accepted as a full block, or on an individual course basis, to account for up to 50% of credit for your AIU bachelor degree.
- You must complete 25% of your credits toward a bachelor’s degree “in residence,” meaning at AIU, to graduate with an AIU diploma. Associate degree rules are a bit tighter: you need to do 50% of credits in residence to get an AIU associate’s degree.
- Only courses you got at least a “C” in (or 2.0 on a 4.0 grading scale) will qualify for transfer. They must also be at least college freshman level courses. High school advanced placement or remedial courses won’t qualify for credit transfer.
- As is the case in most schools, AIU will only accept credits from another accredited college or university. This can be a complicated issue as accreditation is not totally standardized (read more about accreditation issues affecting credit transfer here). You’ll also have to get your old school (or schools) to send an official transcript to AIU to confirm completion of the courses you’re claiming for credit.
- Naturally, the courses you want to transfer in need to be relevant to the major you are getting a degree in at AIU.
- Credits are accepted for work experience, or for passing certain CLEP or DANTES tests.
These are all general guidelines. As each student’s situation is unique, you’ll need to consult an admissions counselor at AIU about your own particular picture on course credits.