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.
Unique new approach: Here’s an option that can help you build up basic credits at a rock bottom price and then transfer them to a fully accredited four-year college.
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.
Baker is a not for profit school that’s very moderately priced even without credit transfer. They offer a “Smart Degree Option” that’s designed to move students quickly to completion, even while they remain in their current jobs. This approach can be applied either to freshmen starting out or to transfer students who have already taken classes at another school.
Baker requires a minimum grade of “C” for transfer from another school, and credits can be accepted from special purpose institutions, community/junior colleges, technical or vocational institutions, proprietary institutions (for profit colleges), and the United States Armed Services. Within certain parameters, the school accepts credits from schools with either regional or national accreditation.
Get information on Baker College Online
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.
American Sentinel, headquartered in Denver, Colorado, is a rare example of a for-profit college that works hard to keep student tuition costs extremely low. Its popular RN to BSN completion degree program is one of the least expensive among all online schools (it also has an RN to Master of Science program in nursing). Additionally, the school offers a BS in computer science and one in information technology. For its online bachelor degree programs:
- Students are allowed to get up to 90 hours of credit in transfer toward a 120 credit bachelor degree, through a combination of class work credit from another school, professional certifications or for life and work experience.
- Only previous courses taken at a college undergrad level qualify for transfer credit.
- You are required to have earned a least a “C” or 2.0 in any old course for it to qualify.
- The school has a favorable policy toward life and work experience. Up to 30 credits may be granted toward your bachelor degree even if you have no class credits in your background, though these can apply only toward the general education portion of your degree.
- As with most schools, your previous courses or experience must relate directly to your major at American Sentinel to qualify for credit transfer.
- Credits are granted for ACT, AP, CLEP, DSST and DANTES tests.
California Coast is moderately-priced school based in Santa Ana, California that has a very liberal credit transfer policy. Associates degrees are 60 credits and most bachelor degrees are 126 credits, offered in majors including business, education & teaching, health and medicine and social sciences / criminal justice. The school gives you a great deal of flexibility in constructing your own class schedule.
- Up to 30 credits can be accepted in transfer toward an associate’s degree, or 93 toward a bachelor’s degree.
- You need a minimum grade of “C” on courses at your previous school for the credits to be accepted, though CCU can accept credits for up to three college courses you got a “D” in, pending an evaluation.
- Transfer students can receive “experiential learning” credits to for work that directly relates to the major of a degree being pursued at CCU. You will be asked to take a “challenge exam” to confirm that you have acquired real knowledge from your work experience.
- Credits can be awarded for DANTE, CLEP, ECE AP or TECEP tests you are able to pass.
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.
Regis is one of the well-regarded Jesuit Catholic colleges that are spread across the U.S. It was founded in Denver, Colorado back in 1877. Its online degree programs include two bachelors’ degrees in business, three in computer science and information technology and one bachelor degree in criminology. The school has good quality regional accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The school is most friendly toward transfer of community college credits and giving credit through Prior Learning Assessment testing:
- Regis does not place a limit on how old your previous credits can be and still transfer – an unusually good offer for transfer or completion students.
- Up to 75% (90 credits) of all your credits toward a bachelor degree can be transferred in from your community college study.
- Up to 45 credits (equal to 15 courses) can be earned through the school’s Prior Learning Assessment program.
- Credits accepted via CLEP, DANTES and challenge exams.
Bellevue University, a school with solid accreditation from The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, places a big focus on completion degrees. It’s a private school with a large online presence. The completion programs are designed to make it possible for students who come in with a completed associates degree to get at least 60 hours of credit towards a bachelor degree in business administration, business information systems, healthcare administration, criminal justice administration, internet systems and software technology, leadership, human resources, marketing or security management.
- Bellevue’s residence requirement for a bachelor degree is 30 hours, which means that there is a good deal of flexibility toward accepting up to 37 credits in on top of the 60 for a transferred associates degree. Students should enquire with an admissions counselor.
- The school accepts credits for training on the job or in the military.
- At many schools, transferring credits to a university from a community college can be tricky. Bellevue has “articulation agreements” with a very large number of community colleges across the U.S. that allow it to accept credits for you associate’s degree with minimal revew, assuming you meet minimum grade requirements.