40% of transfers lose all credits

More than a third of college students transfer, losing an average of 13 college credits, according to a new federal study. Nearly 40 percent of transfer students get no credit at all, losing nearly a full year of credits, on average. That costs them time and money.

About Joanne


  1. Michael E. Lopez says:

    I think I’ve mentioned before in these comments that the problems transfer students have in transferring their credits do not seem like a real problem.

    Universities are not fungible, and a bachelor’s degree from Princeton is not the same as a degree from Cal State Chico, despite both being 4-year degrees. Universities (and colleges) have what seems to me — at least on first blush — to be an absolute right to impose whatever academic requirements and restrictions they want on the students that they certify for graduation — subject only to market forces and accreditation boards (where applicable). If a university wants to put out a 6-year bootcamp style degree program that produces some sort of super-elite B.A., well then more power to them. And if a university thinks it can get away with having a two-year online Master’s program, I say that we should let the degree be worth whatever it’s worth.

    A corollary of that line of thinking, though, is that if a school doesn’t want to take your credits, they shouldn’t have to. You didn’t complete their program, after all. You completed someone else’s program. Is it equivalent? Maybe it is. Maybe it’s not. But the school itself gets to decide.

    Now as the article briefly suggests, a lot of this is loss is actually the result of student behavior and choices. But headlines like “Nearly 15% of transfer students forget to apply for their transfer credits” (or whatever the number is) doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.

    I also, by the by, don’t have a problem with state governments using their political muscle to set up programs for their state universities; as I said, I tend to think that schools (or in this case, state Regents boards) have a right to do whatever they want with their standards.

  2. Ann in LA says:

    A while back I was talking to a family from Poland, and they said their kids could go to any school in Europe and their credits would all transfer. There are, of course, problems with that too (see Mr. Lopez’s post above), but it would be nice if more could be transferred.

    It is especially galling when one suspects a major driver of the refusal of credits is monetary–the schools want you to have to pay *them* for the credits, not the other school.

  3. If you take all of the core courses and get a(n) associate’s from a local college, make sure you get a transfer agreement. As a general rule, if you do your homework (and it sounds like a LOT of students don’t), you’ll probably get most of your coursework to move w/out much trouble.

    You might have to take a couple of extra courses in order to get your bachelor’s, but it should not be a major issue, IMO