Can I Transfer Online Credits to Another School?

Though taking online classes has a number of benefits, you need to look at whether you can transfer any online credits that you earn to another school. Taking introductory courses and other basic classes online can help you save money on the cost of college and get some of the required classes that you must take out of the way before enrolling in a traditional program on a local campus. There are three key things you need to look for before trying to transfer credits or before speaking with an admissions counselor.

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Is the Program Accredited?

The very first thing you should look at is whether the online college is accredited. Accreditation is a type of approval that comes from an established organization. The Higher Learning Commission is one of the top organizations of this type. Though it operates on the national level, it has smaller associated agencies that offer regional accreditation. If the online college you attended does not have accreditation, most traditional schools will not accept any of the credits you earned. When you enroll, you will likely need to take those classes over.

Does the Course Match the Campus Catalog?

Before meeting with an academic or admissions counselor, check the course catalog for the required classes in your program. Course catalogs will show you all the general education courses students take and any specialty courses required for graduation. To transfer online credits to another school, the online credits must match the description found in the course catalog of the college where you want to transfer. While the college may not require that the online course have the same name as a class it offers, it will want to know that you studied the same general subjects and completed the same amount and type of coursework.

Does the Department of Education Approve?

You should check with the United States Department of Education before enrolling in any online program. This government department maintains a list of colleges with accreditation and lets you know what type of accreditation each one has. It also warns you about scam schools and diploma mills that exist only to take students’ money and award them worthless degrees. According to the U.S. Department of Education, some of the more common signs of a diploma mill include offering accelerated degrees that you can earn in a fraction of the time it should take, using pushy sales tactics to get students enrolled and charging a tuition rate based on your degree program instead of the classes that you take.

Should You Speak to a Counselor?

After you take classes online, schedule an appointment to speak with an admissions counselor who works for the college where you want to enroll. You can usually meet in person or speak to a counselor over the phone. Let the counselor know how many online classes you took, the names of those courses and the number of credits you earned. Whether you can transfer those credits may also depend on the grade you earned. The counselor will let you know if the school will give you full or partial credit based on your grades.

Though you can complete many of your prerequisite and required classes online, you need to know whether you can transfer those credits to a traditional college. To transfer online credits to another school, you generally need to take classes that match the course catalog for that college and attend an accredited school.