Can I Transfer My Credits from an Online College to a Traditional College?

Designed to cater to students who typically do not fit within the traditional mold, online colleges are rising in popularity by providing working adult learners with the flexibility and convenience of earning course credits while still fulfilling work and family obligations in their busy schedules. Furthermore, online courses are an excellent way for traditional students to complete college faster by working over the summer or winter breaks online. However, one of the most prevalent fears associated with online education is that the credits will not be easily transferred to another conventional school. Luckily, this is far from the truth as credits can often be transferred for a smooth transition from online to on-campus. Read on to learn the requirements and tips needed for success in transferring your online credits to a traditional college.

General Transfer Credit Requirements

One of the most universal requirements for transferring credits from one school to another is accreditation. As a general rule of thumb, an accredited college will not accept credits transferred from an unaccredited online institution under any circumstances. Not only does accreditation affect whether your credits will be transferable to advance your degree, it also affects the quality and legitimacy of the education for future employment. Conduct a college background check on the U.S. Department of Education Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions for full accreditation information. Since there are an increasing number of so-called diploma mills online, it is highly recommended that you ensure an online college is fully accredited by a recognized accrediting agency before enrolling.

Besides accreditation, the specific requirements for credit transfers vary greatly depending on the particular college you have chosen to finish your degree. While some are extremely lenient in their transfers, others have high standards and strict conditions for accepting credits from other institutions. Some of the more common conditions for transferring credits include whether the course is similar to a required course at the new college, if the course fulfills a general education or elective requirement, the grade point average achieved in the course, number of credits being transferred, and how recent the courses were taken. Before deciding on a transfer school, it is suggested that you thoroughly research the transfer policies.

Source: How Can You Find Accredited Online Colleges?

Tips and Tactics for Smooth Transfers

If you already aware that you will be transferring credits before attending online college, you must create a course plan for a seamless credit transfer. Since many schools will not accept credits that are not related to a major degree program, general education courses like mathematics and English may be difficult to transfer. Many colleges also do not allow transfer of more than 30 to 50 percent of total credits needed for the degree; therefore, it is best to attend just one or two years of online courses to avoid any costly course repeats. Always remember that colleges refuse to transfer credits that were earned more than five to eight years prior, so do not wait too long to finish the degree you started. Most importantly, be sure to earn the highest marks possible during your online classes to improve your chances of simplifying the transfer.

Although not every college accepts transferred credits, schools that do allow transfers usually do not differentiate between credits earned from a traditional or online learning format. For the transfer, you will normally need official transcripts, proof of college accreditation, and a letter from your college. If you are interested in transferring credits earned at an online college to a traditional university, it is highly recommended that you speak with the admissions office from each school to facilitate the transfer. Since every college is different, make sure to work with the staff at your college of choice to determine their specific requirements for the transfer process.