Transferring Credits To Online College

Transferring to an online college can be beneficial. Here, we outline what you need to know to successfully transfer credits.

By Reese Lopez

Published on February 25, 2022

Transferring Credits To Online College

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The National Student Clearinghouse Research Center reports that 38% of all college students transfer at least once during their education. Students may transfer credits to an online college to pursue a new major, save money on tuition, or gain greater schedule flexibility.

The online college transfer process works similarly to the regular college application process. It often requires students to complete a transfer application and submit their academic transcripts. This guide highlights how to transfer to online college. It also covers tips, strategies, and best practices for transferring.

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The Benefits of Switching Colleges


Students transfer to online colleges for various reasons. Enrolling at a new school may allow students to pursue a major unavailable at their current institution or access more academic resources. Students may also find new research opportunities and other academic benefits at a new school.

Online learning can make college easier to manage, particularly for students working full or part time while in school. Online courses typically offer more schedule flexibility. Many courses follow an asynchronous format. Asynchronous courses do not require set meeting times, allowing students to complete coursework on their schedule within set deadlines.

Transfer Credits FAQ's

Q. What costs are associated with transferring?

Typically, transfer students only pay application and enrollment fees. However, they may incur costs by taking additional courses if some of their credits do not transfer.

Q. What effect will transfer credits have on my GPA at my new college?

Your GPA may affect admissions decisions, but it does not transfer to a new institution. Students can begin with a new GPA when they transfer to an online college.

Q. Can I transfer credits to and from trade or vocational schools?

Credits from regionally accredited trade and vocational schools typically transfer to two-year and four-year colleges.

Q. Are all credits transferable?

Most credits earned through traditional courses transfer between schools. But some specialized or unique courses may not transfer as easily. Students can confirm credit transferability with school counselors.

How to Transfer to an Online College Program


The process to transfer credits is often the same at most institutions. However, factors, such as credit equivalencies and application steps, may differ among schools. Students should research prospective schools' transfer processes to determine specific requirements. This list highlights factors to consider when planning to transfer credits between colleges.

1. Understand Your Credits

Before trying to transfer credits, students should research how many credits they have and which are likely to transfer to another school. Many colleges, particularly community colleges, maintain transfer partnerships with other institutions. These partnerships allow students to transfer seamlessly between schools. Transfer counselors can help learners identify potential partner schools, making the transfer process easier. If students have taken any specialized courses that fall outside of general education requirements, know that some of these credits may not transfer.

2. Research Your Options

When considering a transfer, it pays to consider a school's academic strengths and transfer credit policies. Ideally, a new school will allow learners to continue their studies with as much academic continuity as possible. Students should research each school's prerequisites and credit equivalencies to determine what courses they may need to complete when transferring.

3. Reach Out to the School

Most schools detail their credit transfer policies online. But transfer counselors can answer more specific questions and offer assistance with the transfer process. Counselors can help ensure that learners complete all paperwork on time and transfer the maximum number of credits possible. In general, students should contact a potential transfer school several months before the start of the semester they intend to transfer into.

4. Complete the Credits Transfer Application

Most schools offer a standard transfer application. These applications require degree-seekers to fill out personal information and submit transcripts from any prior colleges or universities. If students transfer credits during their first year, schools may also want to see their high school transcripts. Some schools also ask for recommendation letters. Students hoping to transfer for the fall semester should submit their transfer application by March or April.

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