Roll the Credits
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Here are some questions you should ask of your pre-admissions advisor:
- What is the maximum number of college credits the new college
- Will a course transfer as a credit towards a major or as an elective
- What is the minimum grade the new college will accept for transfer
- Do grade point averages transfer, or only credits?
- Do credits earned by examination or through placement testing
- Will the college accept scores from standardized tests such as
CLEP and DANTES?
- Will the college accept credits earned from training through the
military or the workplace?
- Does the college or university give credit for work or life experience?
- If you took a general education course as a freshman at a community
college, and the new college requires a similar course to be taken
by juniors and seniors, will the new college accept the credit or
will you have to repeat the course?
- How many courses does the new college or university require to
take at the school to graduate?
- Are any of your credits too old to transfer? Credits earned more
than seven years ago may not qualify for transfer.
- If your credits won't transfer as part of your new general education
requirements, or as part of your major field of study courses, will
the college accept them as electives?
- If you have an associates degree from a community college,
a vocational school, or a technical school, will all of the credits
you earned transfer?
- Does the college or university accept grades and/or credit for
work done through distance learning (correspondence courses, internet
courses, courses taken through extension programs)?
Your pre-admissions advisor can also provide necessary information about
the application process and deadline. If you want to be considered for
campus-based scholarships, it is wise to apply a year ahead of the date
you want to enter the college. It is also important to pay attention to
a college's financial aid deadline in order to insure your request is
processed before you begin attending and that you get the maximum amount
of money for which you are eligible. Also the earlier you apply for admission
and complete your financial aid application or renewal, the sooner you
will receive your award letter and know how much financial aid you are
able to receive.
After youve met with your advisor and provided all the information
the college requires from transfer students, the admissions committee
or transfer committee, made up of admissions officers and faculty members,
will decide which of your credits will transfer and into which category
your transferable credits will fall. If the committee chooses not to transfer
credits for a particular course, you may be able to protest the decision
by appealing to the head of the degree program in which you are enrolling.
If the colleges you select accept too few of your credits for transferand
you do not wish to take those courses again to meet the degree requirementsthere
are other alternatives to consider. For example, careers such as real
estate, cosmetology, and substance abuse counseling offer exciting opportunities
and rewards. Yet, they may require only that you get licensed by passing
one or a series of state exams. Of course, the more education you have,
the less experience youll need to qualify to take the exams. Other
careers, such as dietetics and computer programming, require both a degree
and certification because of the specialization involved.
Remember: Your best route is to make a plan and stick with it. Resist
the urge to take shortcuts. A college education is well worth it no matter
which path you take to get it.
Gregory Lloyd is a financial writer and freelance business writer.
also Getting Full Credit.