To transfer college credits earned at one institution and receive credit for them at another, the first step is to ensure that the second institution has the same or very similar courses to the ones taken. The next step is to apply for admission as a transfer student to the second institution. The applicant typically must arrange for his transcript to be sent to the second institution so the admissions office can see what courses he took and the grades he received for each. Generally, a student must have earned a grade of “C” or better in a course to receive transfer credit.
Most colleges accept a certain number of transfer students each year and have procedures in place to transfer college credits. These procedures can often be found on the college’s website under a heading for prospective students, which are typically divided into freshman and transfer categories. There the college typically explains the deadline to apply and have a transcript sent and where to send it.
With this information in hand, the applicant usually must then contact the college he previously attended and arrange to have his transcript sent. Colleges typically do not accept hand-delivered or faxed transcripts, but require an official transcript sent directly from the college the applicant attended. By looking on the first college’s website under “transcripts,” the student can normally find out how to have a transcript sent to another institution. There may be a nominal fee for this service, or a college may issue the first few transcripts without charging a fee.
A student has the best chance to transfer college credits if his prospective college has a similar selectivity level as the one he attended. A very selective college may hesitate to grant transfer credits for courses taken at a college that is not selective, believing that the courses will not be of the same high caliber. An exception to this guideline is increasingly made for courses taken at community colleges. Since many students, upon graduating from a community college, will go on to transfer to a college or university, official or unofficial agreements are often made between community colleges and state colleges so the state college will agree to transfer college credits for courses in which the student has earned a high enough grade, usually a “C” or higher. Students will often find that colleges or universities in other countries are willing to transfer college credits as well, provided they have similar courses to the ones taken.