What is Transfer Credit?

Beth Dumbauld

A Transfer Credit is a college credit earned at one institution of higher education that is later transferred to and accepted by another institution. A Transfer Credit can also be earned by passing competency exams that demonstrate mastery in a specific subject area. An earned college credit is considered a transfer credit once it is accepted by the “receiving” institution of higher learning.

Receiving institutions decide which transfer credits it will accept, typically through the admissions or registrar’s office. Students who have transfer credits accepted are given advanced standing at the new institution.

A Transfer Credit can be earned by:

  • AP Credit (Advanced Placement)
  • Credits for community college coursework
  • College-to-college course transfer
  • Military training
  • Work and on-the-job training
  • Credit-by-Exam through ACE (American Council on Education) or CLEP (College Level Examination Program)
  • Credit for life experience as demonstrated via a PLA (Prior Learning Assessment)

Free guide on credit transfers

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