Imagine this scenario. You want to become a nurse (or...insert your own career goal here), but you want to minimize the amount of time and money you pay for college. What can you do?
1- You could spend time scouring the Internet for scholarship opportunities. If you are able to earn any kind of scholarship money, great for you. This is money you won’t have to pay back.
2- You could take advantage of free college courses offered by MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses). Though you could learn some useful information by taking a MOOC, the chances of you being able to earn credits that move you directly towards earning the type of academic credential you need are slim. What’s more, if you want to be on a professional pathway, time spent in educational detours can be pricey in terms of opportunity costs. In other words, you could use that time instead to take college courses for credit for that will lead directly to the degree you want.
3- You could choose to become part of the growing trend of intentional transfer students. Who are intentional transfer students? These are students who intend to transfer college credits in order to:
A) Lower their overall cost of college, and/or
B) Reduce the time it takes to earn a college degree.
An intentional transfer student values high-quality course material, class flexibility, rolling start dates, and low-cost college credit acquisition. They design a pathway to college that mindfully links institutions of higher learning to each other in a logical, cost-saving, step-wise manner. Intentional transfer students will often take most of their required, introductory college courses at a low-cost college providers like StraighterLine (which offers a credit transfer guarantee on their college courses at $99/month plus a one-time course fee of $49) or at a community college, and then transfer their credits earned to a college or university where they ultimately plan on earning their degree.
Guess what? When you earn a college degree as a transfer student, your diploma is the same as a student who earned their degree at full tuition prices.
Transfer Students Are Among the Most Successful Students at a College
Did you know that transfer students have higher graduation rates than the average student? Surprised? You shouldn’t be. From a college admissions department’s perspective, when a student is accepted as a transfer student, they are accepting a student with a known college history, one who is already proven as academically capable and driven. No doubt about it, when a college accepts an intentional transfer student, they are admitting a student who has a proven themselves to be skilled in strategic planning and self-motivating.
According to a recent study by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, nearly 80% of transfer students with an associate degree either graduated from or remained enrolled in a 4‐year institution. 71% of these transfer students earned their bachelor’s degree within four years.6 For traditionally enrolled students, the percentage who end up graduating from a 4-year college within 6 years is only 53%.7
Reject Your Rejection Letter and Become a Transfer Student
Instead of letting a college reject you, you can reject them. There is an alternative pathway to college that can save you time and money. Consider becoming an intentional transfer student, and join the ranks of savvy college graduates who save time and money when earning a college degree. After you get over the initial shock, and you have the time to look a little deeper into the college system, you’ll see that there is a world of opportunity in higher education today. Take advantage of your second chance – and enjoy the savings.
6National Student Clearinghouse, Turning Two Into Four, 11/2012, p.1
7Marklein, Mary Beth, USA Today, 4-year Colleges Graduate 53% of Students in 6 Years, 6/2009, p.1.