Can Online Degree Credits be Transferred to Other Schools?

Learn actions and tips for success in transferring online credits to your new school.

One of the fears associated with applying to online school is that the credits will not be transferable to a traditional school. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Yes, transferring is a long and tedious process, however with the proper planning and research, you can have a smooth transition into your new school.

Many people attend online school to obtain their associates degree and then transfer to a traditional school for their bachelors degree. Those who are unsure of how far they need or want to go down their educational path sometimes choose this option in order to knock two years off of their degree program.

Other folks who may not have done so great during high school or who were unable to get into the school of choice may choose to attend online courses to obtain an online associates degree, or begin their bachelors degree online in order to raise their grades so that they may reapply to the school of their choice at a later date.

Action Steps:

Plan Your Online Courses

If you know you are going to transfer before attending online college, you may set yourself up for an easy credit transfer. Doing so ensures you will be able to cater your course schedule according to which credits will be of value to your new school.

Even though an online credit may transfer to another school, it does not necessarily mean that the credit can be transferred to your specific degree program. Furthermore, some schools will not accept credits that are not directly related to the major you intend to pursue. For example, general education courses taken online, such as mathematics, social science and history might not be easily transferable, due to a varying course curriculum.

Many colleges do not allow you to transfer more than 30 to 50 percent of your total credits, so if you have attended more than two years of online courses, chances are you will have to repeat certain classes. This is another reason why mapping out your post secondary education future is so important to your credit transfers.

Speak With Admissions Advisor

Working with a personal advisor shows your prospective school that you are determined to get your credits transferred and play an active role in your education. They can help you navigate the sometimes complicated process of degree transfers and help resolve common issues.

When transferring your credits from an online certificate, online career training, online associates or online bachelors program, you must fill out a form to determine transfer credit eligibility, which can sometimes be found online. Despite this, students are encouraged to contact the admissions department or academic advisor because the more closely they work with advisors to resolve credit issues, the better the chances that their credits will be transferred.

Ask your admissions advisor if life experience credits are accepted. These give you a certain number of credits according to personal and professional accomplishments such as jobs you’ve held, classes completed, licenses earned or other life experience that pertains to your degree program.

Tips & Tactics

  • Do not wait too long to finish the degree you started in online school. This is important because most colleges refuse transfer credits that were earned over six to eight years ago.
  • The credit transferring process is simplified when you earn the highest marks possible when pursuing your degree online. In fact, some schools do not accept grades lower than a C or a D. This is particularly true if the grade is in a course specific to your major.
  • Applying to more than one transfer school is a safe decision to ensure that you will get the best possible package when transferring your credits.
  • Some schools only accept applications during a certain time of the year, so knowing the best time to transfer is key to ensuring your credits are transferred on time.
  • Accredited colleges will not, under any circumstances, accept credits transferred from unaccredited online colleges.
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