Do Community College Credits Transfer to a University? Things To Know

Do Community College Credits Transfer to a University? Things To Know

You may wonder whether your community college credits will transfer to a university with you. Here is the answer.

Many community college credits do not transfer with students when they pursue a bachelor’s degree, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). On average, community college students lose about 13 credits following their first transfer. That equates to almost a full semester of study. That’s precious time and money down the drain.

In addition to discussing how specific credits can be transferred to help you earn a degree at your preferred university, this article also discusses the variables that affect credit transferability from community colleges to other institutions.

Do Community College Credits Transfer to a University?

Do a quick search on their website to find out how much outside credit your university allows as most colleges only permit students to transfer in a certain amount of outside credit. You can use this to determine how many credits from your community college you should aim to earn in total. Any additional dosage will be a waste of your time and money.

The next thing to consider is whether your chosen university and community college actually work well together. The completion of a 2-year associate degree does not signify that you are halfway through a 4-year bachelor’s program because of those annoying disagreements over course requirements.

Do Community College Credits Transfer to a University? Things To Know

One of the most frequent errors made by recent graduates of community colleges is this one. Only if the community college and university have an excellent, pre-existing transfer agreement can you transfer a full associate degree into a bachelor’s degree program.

Factors That Influence Credit Transferability

Numerous factors affect the transferability of college credits. Your academic standing, the relevance of your course credits to the degree you are applying for, and agreements between institutions regarding accreditation and articulation are a few of these.

Community College Accreditation

Many students who enroll in community colleges are unsure of the career path they want to take. Some students receive their associate degree and are about to graduate, only to learn they need to complete more coursework and earn additional credentials before they can start working in their field of study.

If you find yourself in this situation, you can search for a college or university that will recognize your old school as a legitimate supplier of high-quality education based on accreditation.

There is a high likelihood that your credits can be transferred to the university program of your choice if the community college you attended has been accredited by a national or regional accreditation body (Itzkowitz et al, 2018).

On the other hand, there is a chance that your courses won’t be accepted for credit transfer if your previous school was not accredited by a national accrediting body.

Universities check for the accreditation of community colleges because they are aware that accredited community colleges have created rigorous efforts in ensuring that the coursework submitted by their graduates has met excellent educational standards.

Articulation Agreements Between Institutions

Do Community College Credits Transfer to a University? Things To Know

When searching for a college or university to transfer to, look for one that has an articulation agreement with the institution from which you received your credits.

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Your ability to transfer from one college to another will be facilitated by agreements involving transfer policies known as articulation agreements (Endsley, 2019). Many schools have successfully guided students in transferring their credits to a program that they want to pursue through these special agreements.

For instance, if you are a student at Arizona Community College, you will receive additional transfer assistance should you decide to continue your studies at Northern Arizona University because these two institutions have unique articulation agreements (Chen, 2019).

In most cases, you will only be able to transfer your entire associate degree to a bachelor’s degree if your community college has a top-notch transfer articulation agreement with that university.

Your Grades

If you earn a C or better in the courses and they correspond to the subjects offered at the school you’ve chosen, you can usually transfer them.

As some universities do not grant credits for courses with grades below a B, it is best if you can learn about their transfer policies before applying (Franklin University, 2021).

How Relevant Course Credits Are to the Degree You Are Applying For

You should first consider what type of university degree you want to pursue after enrolling in an associate degree program. This will make it simpler for you to transfer your credits easily to the degree program you want to enroll in. Otherwise, you risk not getting credit for many of the courses you took in community college.

Do Community College Credits Transfer to a University? Things To Know

When you switch schools, not all of your course credits will be transferable. The chances of receiving credit are highest for those that are pertinent to the degree you are applying for.

For instance, you might be able to transfer a biology course from your previous nursing degree toward your pharmacy bachelor’s program. Conversely, a biology course may not be credited if you are planning to transfer to a baccalaureate degree in Business Administration.

What Can I Do to Get the Most Transfer Credit from My Community College?

There are strategies to help you maximize the number of credits that will transfer, regardless of whether you have already finished your community college coursework or are just planning to enroll.

Already Complete Your Community College Work?

In order to obtain your degree, will you transfer your community college credits? If so, you have some strategic options that can help.

  • For articulation agreements, contact the community college. A network of four-year schools and some schools have formal written agreements. These contracts are known as articulation agreements. “Articulation” in this case means comparing the content of courses and the transfer of credit between different schools. An articulation guide offers a clear-cut picture of what will transfer among schools that are in the guide. These manuals are updated annually, so make sure you’re using the most recent version when you consult them.
  • Look for bachelor’s programs that encourage transfers. Look for indications of a smooth transfer of associate degree courses when selecting your 4-year degree program. What do previous students say? Look at the school’s website and read about their dedication to assisting you with transfers. One important sign to look for, or ask about, is the size of the transfer network. Such agreements will be prevalent at a transfer-friendly institution.

Plans like these can ensure no repeat classes, no relearning, and no unnecessary expenses while also helping you save up to half on your bachelor’s degree.

Do Community College Credits Transfer to a University? Things To Know

Thinking About Enrolling in Community College?

Many students enroll in a community college with the idea of continuing on to a four-year university to finish their degrees. This is a way to start off financially sound. Here are some tips to improve your chances of having your credits transferred.

  • Pick a Community College with Good Connectivity. Consider programs with connections to other schools when selecting a community school. What about credit transfers? Do they have written commitments and an articulation guide? Talk with the admissions advisor and be clear about your plan to transfer.
  • Look for Creative Transfer Policies. Some programs offer innovative ways to maximize credits and welcome transfer students. 
  • Look for courses with transfer guarantees. With a guaranteed agreement to accept credits when the student transfers, some states have partnerships with every school in the state. 
  • selecting to pursue an A.S. path over A.A.S. If you select a highly specialized program of education, like a respiratory technician, your resulting degree of Associate of Applied Science is likely to be laser-focused on just that job. Going forward, your A.A.S. coursework will not likely qualify as transfer credit. 

Conclusion: Do Community College Credits Transfer to a University?

Technically speaking, transfer credit is the submission of prior learning (classes or credits) from one institution and acceptance for credit by another institution. In this case, credits taken at community college could be worth credits toward comparable classes at the new institution.

Typically, formal coursework that could count toward a degree is the only type of credit that can be transferred. Remedial classes, or those required to bring your skills up to par before enrolling in an introductory course, and programs created especially to award continuing education credits (CEUs), are generally ineligible for transfer.


Will My GPA from Community College Reset When I Transfer to a University?

The GPA you receive when you graduate will be determined by your grades at your new college unless you are transferring within a public college system.

Does Community College GPA Matter for University?

Community College grades will NOT factor into your UC GPA, ONLY units. Verify that you are taking the right courses PRIOR to enrolling! “An online tool called ASSIST, which provides information on student transfers, outlines the transferability of course credits from one public California college or university to another.

Can I Raise My GPA in Community College?

You could enroll in a community college to raise your cumulative GPA overall before transferring to a different college or university.

Is a 3.0 GPA Bad in Community College?

A 3.0 GPA indicates a grade average of “B” and makes you eligible to apply to a wide range of schools, so yes! A 3.0 GPA is generally considered “good.”

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