Can I Transfer My Credits From My Traditonal College to An Online College?

For many students, the choice to go to an online school is a simple one. The courses provide more time for busier schedules, family obligations or just a more relaxing atmosphere. However, when students decide to go to online schools, they often need to transfer credits from traditional schools. Most online schools list exactly what type of credits they will accept on their website. Others provide this information through the admission’s office. By contacting your new school early, you can get the information that you need to enroll in the right online degree.

Check the College’s Website First

Even if you have your heart set on a particular online school, the institution may not accept your traditional credits. These credits are important because not only did you earn them, but most students pay $200 or more out-of-pocket per credit hour at traditional schools. To find the right section on the site, look for links about transferring colleges, which are usually listed under the admission, academics, research or about sections. Some factors that make a difference include matching degree programs, school accreditation, out-of-state traditional schools and special courses not found in the online school’s catalog. These types of credits may need to be approved by the online school’s adviser.

Talk to the Admissions Adviser

Every college has an admissions office. Admissions is responsible for handling your paperwork as well as transferring credits if you are a new student transfer. They should be able to tell you if your credits will transfer or not. In some cases where a certain course is in question, an adviser can approve your credits if you provide a syllabus, coursework and transcript. And in other cases it all depends on the accreditation.

Regional vs. National Accreditation

If your traditional college was not properly accredited, then you may not be able to transfer the course as some courses are regionally accredited and won’t be accepted at a national online college. In order to check what accreditation you have for your courses, you can usually call the admission’s office of your traditional school or look online under the about or research links. If your courses were regionally accredited through one of the six regional accreditation bodies, it may be more difficult to transfer to an online college that isn’t a member of your particular regional accreditation body. You can read more about those accreditation bodies and get the list of national accreditation agencies here.

Bad Grades May Not Transfer

Some schools also have a policy not to accept coursework with D or below on the transcript. If this happens to you, you may need to take a test or speak with an adviser at the online school to get your coursework approved. You may need to provide a letter of why the grade was so low including any documentation that can prove why you had such difficulty. In some cases, you may need to repeat the coursework again, which may not be such a bad thing. You would be able to replace your bad grade with a better one if you successfully repeat the course.

Most online colleges work with students when completing a transfer, particularly if that student has shown great scholarship and merit. Even if your grades aren’t the best, a solid admissions letter, full completion of paperwork and speaking with an adviser can often ensure that your credits transfer to the new school.