Which online colleges accept the most transfer credits?
When you make a move between colleges, it’s very much in your interest to look for a school that will accept all transfer credits for the courses you’ve taken, as well as any ACE or other non traditional credits you may have accumulated.
As you’ll see below, it takes some focus to learn how transferring credits works. Transfer admission rates vary a great deal from one university to the next. But if you have a unique complication – say your not just changing schools but also transferring one degree to another subject or looking for schools that accept associate degrees – you’ll want to start by getting a transcript from your old school and creating a list of all classroom and non-classroom learning you may have done that could translate into credit. Here’s a listing of some of the most credit transfer-friendly colleges and universities in the U.S. that give online degrees. Sponosored Schools:
Purdue University Global
Purdue University Global 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.
- Purdue 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 Purdue.
- 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 Purdue.
- Purdue 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 Purdue.
American Intercontinental University
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, healthcare management 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.
Founded in 1951 to help World War II veterans get a new start in life, Grantham is one of the earliest online-only colleges in the U.S. It offers associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in business, engineering, computer technology, human resource management, criminal justice and more.
- Credit transfer is accepted based upon declared program of study and other requirements.
- Credit may get credit for previous college coursework, military experience, employer courses, AP, CLEP or DANTES/DSST testing.
- You must complete at least 25% of your required credit courses at Grantham for a bachelor’s or associate’s degree.
- A grade of at least “C” must have been earned in a course at any other school for it to be accepted in transfer.
- Maximum transfer and PLA combined credit limit is 75% for an undergraduate degree program. PLA credit is limited to 25% for an undergraduate degree program.
California College of San Diego
A private college accredited by ACCSC, the school offers a wide variety of bachelor and associate degrees online. The school makes a strong effort to accept as many credits as possible from transfer students, including community college credits, advanced placement tests and even certain industry certificate credits. The transfer application is simple and easy.
Get information on California College of San Diego
Rasmussen College has been helping students prepare for successful careers since its founding in Minnesota in 1900. It offers a unique system called Flex Choice that allows for a very flexible study schedule and transfer credits for knowledge you may have beyond what you have learned in a classroom.
Get information on Rasmussen
Colorado Technical University
Colorado Technical University is a Colorado Springs-based school with over 25,000 students, and is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
Transfer credits can be accepted for your past experience, certification or training or learning at a prior school. Transfer credit will be accepted upon evaluation and at the discretion of Colorado Technical University in all cases.
Students complete a minimum of 25% of the total credit hours for an undergraduate, graduate or doctoral degree program at Colorado Technical University.
Upon acceptance to the University, a student will be contacted by a Prior Learning Assessment Specialist to discuss options including:
- ”Fast Track” credit for life experience.
- Credit for military experience or training
- Credit for any professional training or certification you may have.
- Standardized assessments for credit may include Advance Placement Examinations, CLEP Exams and/or DANTES Examinations
How Many Credits Do You Need To Graduate College?
Credit systems vary from one university to the next, and schools often use confusing terms like “credit hours” to weigh the value of each course. But in most cases, if you’re looking to complete a degree or do an associate degree transfer to a bachelor’s program, you will probably need to aim for a final goal of 120 credits. That’s what’s traditionally been awarded for four years of college study. It’s important to be aware that not all associate degree programs are good for transfer
Best Transfer Opportunities
The most positive result you can usually hope for is to have a new school accept 90 transfer credits for previous study. That will generally only happen if you have already taken a considerable number of classes in exactly the same subject area you intend to finish your degree in. A good starting point if you’re finishing, say, a bachelor’s degree in business is to look at the class curriculum for the school you want to transfer to. If the class list is very similar, you may have a very good chance of getting the school to accept the course credits, which can certainly help you finish your degree faster.
How to transfer College Credits
Online colleges and universities have, for many years, been the most friendly to adult students and worked hard to help students transfer into them. But traditional brick and mortar schools have gradually become more helpful to transfer students too. To find out which are your best choices in new schools, you’ll need to visit the transfer policy pages of your target schools.
It’s a valuable but time-consuming process. As an example, here’s Stanford University’s complete policy on accepting transfer students
Transfer Acceptance Rates
Acceptance rates for transfer students vary across an incredibly wide range. Harvard University accepts just 1% of transfer applicants, while the University of Pennsylvania takes 55% and the University of Georgia takes 75%. Online schools generally have much higher rates of acceptance — in some cases as high as 97%. To find out which schools are the easiest to get into, you need to do a good deal of research.
Do transfer credits affect your gpa?
Remember that although you probably need to have earned a minimum grade in a class for it to transfer, but that once the credit is accepted, it will probably not affect your GPA at your new school. We’ll soon be adding a list of graduate schools that accept most transfer credits here.
Can you transfer master’s degree credits?
Realistically, the best answer to this is “maybe.” Most graduate schools do accept transfer students, but it’s a more complicated issue than it is for undergrads. Grad school programs don’t always require the same number of credits and MBA programs, for example, at two different schools may not involve the same courses. It can worth the effort to get into a better grad school, but it can take some work to change master’s degree schools.
So many people transfer between colleges and universities today that there’s no shame in wanting to change course in the middle of your education. You may simply believe that you picked the wrong school originally because you’re not thrilled with the teachers. You may not like the technology being used for online courses. Or you may be interested in changing majors or moving to a school that seems to have a better career guidance department for grads or better internship programs. All of these can be perfectly acceptable reasons to switch schools.
Is transferring colleges after one year possible?
Some statistics indicate that it’s just slightly more difficult to transfer after just one year of college than after two or three years, but it’s certainly possible. The good news is that if you had poor SAT scores at that end of high school, a transfer school probably won’t look at them closely. The bad news is that if you got poor grades in your first year of college, it may be tough to find a quality school that will take you as a transfer student. Transfer application deadlines are slightly different at each school. But they’re generally the same as the deadlines for college grads applying to come in a freshmen. You’ll usually need to get your application in during March or April if you hope to start at a new school during the next fall.
Being able to transfer your credits between colleges and 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. The colleges that accept the most transfer credits may give you credit for a wide variety of things, based on some key restrictions
John O’Brien has been a writer, editor and consultant in higher education for over 14 years. His background includes writing for insidehighered.com and The Chronicle of Higher Education. As editor of College Degree Complete, he has advised hundreds of adult students on how to transfer colleges without wasting the credits they’ve already accumulated, to finish their degree programs in the fastest and most affordable way.