Online Colleges and Affordable Transfer Credit Fees: Guide for Affordability

affordable transfer credit fees

More than one-third of college students in the United States transfer schools. Some transfer to pursue better academics, while others transfer in the hopes of saving more money. Whatever the reason might be, transfer students need to have their previous credits acknowledged by the next school.

Transferring college credits offers several benefits. First, it allows you to continue your studies without repeating courses, saving you from paying for the same course twice. Second, it helps you avoid setbacks and graduation delays.

However, not all online colleges will accept transfer credits—the average student loses 43% of their credits upon transferring. There will be certain rules and limitations, such as the previous school’s accreditation and course hours. And for those that accept previous credits, they usually charge evaluation fees.

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Evaluation fees differ from one school to another and are often non-refundable. Fortunately, some online colleges do offer affordable transfer credit fees. You need a little deep diving to look for these colleges.

Here, we will talk about online college transfer credit fees, benefits, and how to look for colleges with affordable evaluation fees. Continue reading to gain insights so you can make informed decisions when considering a transfer.

What Are Transfer Credit Evaluation Fees?

Online colleges that transfer credits will require students to have their previous credits evaluated. Transfer credit evaluation involves a lot of processes. These include:

  • assessing the competency of the previous school
  • verifying the course syllabi and content
  • ensuring alignment with the curriculum of the new institution
  • determining the equivalency of the credits earned
  • reviewing the accreditation status of the previous institution
  • confirming the grades earned in those courses

It’s a very meticulous process. It ensures that students build on their knowledge and skills without compromising the institution’s educational integrity.

Whether you want to transfer to an online university or a traditional college, there will be fees. Evaluation fees are non-negotiable and must be paid regardless of whether the credits are accepted or not.

The fees vary widely depending on the institution’s policies and the complexity of the evaluation. Some colleges charge a flat fee per credit hour evaluated, while others may have a standard fee per transcript or evaluation request.

The best online schools for transferring credits will disclose these fees upfront. You’ll see them listed on their websites or in their admissions materials. The process will be completely online, with electronic transcripts and other digital documents sent.

Here are a few guidelines to ensure that online colleges transfer credits from your previous school:

  1. Ensure your previous institution is properly accredited
  2. Research the university’s guidelines for transfer credits
  3. Maintain high course grades and GPA
  4. Use the receiving school’s online tool (if any)
  5. Communicate with advisors at your current/past and prospective online school

Benefits of Affordable Transfer Credit Fees

Online college is known for three things:

  1. Flexibility
  2. Accessibility
  3. Affordability

As more students choose to enroll online, traditional on-campus enrollments are declining. Online learning saves time and money, prompting many campus-based students to transfer to online colleges. These online options often charge lower tuition and fewer technological fees because they operate with lower overhead costs.

While online colleges can save costs, they aren’t free. If you’re transferring, you’ll still want your previous credits to count toward the online program. But as previously mentioned, you’ll need to pay for transfer credit evaluation fees.

Each online college will have different evaluation fees. Some charge more, others less. These fees are usually non-refundable, so you have to pay them whether or not your credits are accepted. It’s important to check the fees upfront and understand their policies before making a decision.

Transferring credits is always uncertain. This is why many transfer students prefer online colleges with affordable transfer credit fees.

Cost-effective transfer student options, such as low and waived transfer credit fees, help out students a lot. Tuition is high enough as it is. You shouldn’t have to worry about being penalized financially for seeking educational opportunities that better suit your needs.

Moreover, affordable transfer credit evaluation fees give you the option to assess your credits at multiple schools rather than being limited to just one online college. This flexibility allows you to explore more choices and find the online school that best suits your needs. It will significantly help you find an online college that accepts the most transfer credits from previous institutions.

How to Find Colleges with Affordable Transfer Credit Fees

Do cheap online colleges offer affordable tuition credit fees? Not necessarily. Inexpensive online colleges can still charge high evaluation fees.

So, how do you find colleges with low-cost transfer fees?

1. Ask the right questions.

Before thinking of a college, think about why you’re transferring. Primarily, think about your goals. Instead of finding the cheapest online schools, focus on whether they offer the program you want and how good it is. Ask yourself these questions as well:

  • Does the online college offer hands-on learning experiences?
  • What’s the job placement rate?
  • Do they hold virtual networking events?

These are important questions to consider to ensure you pick the right transfer school. Also, consider whether the schools you might transfer to can fit into your life and schedule well. Failing to assess your needs now could lead to more transfers later on.

2. Use online databases.

A database is like a well-organized library where information is stored in a way that makes it easy to find, use, and keep up-to-date. There are many resources online where you can customize your search to your liking. A few examples of these databases are CollegeBoard’s BigFuture and Niche.

These websites let you search for colleges based on things like how they handle transfer credits and what fees they charge. Check for details about how colleges accept credits from your current school. Some colleges provide guides that explain which credits they will take and any fees you might have to pay for the evaluation.

3. Visit the college website.

This is the best way to find out exactly how much and how thoroughly the institution’s transfer credit evaluation is conducted. It’s important to research each college’s transfer policies thoroughly.

Avoid making the mistake of only asking if your credits will transfer; you need to dig deeper. While colleges may accept your credits, they may not all count toward your chosen major. For example, if you’re a business major with 60 credits, your new school might accept all 60 credits, but some may only count as electives if they don’t align with your major requirements.

Furthermore, some schools also limit how many credits can be transferred. Many students realize these details too late, leading to confusion and disappointment. Researching early in the transfer process helps you avoid these issues.

Our best tip: Meet with an academic advisor. They can help you choose the right courses to get the most out of your credits. If you haven’t done this yet, make an appointment with a transfer counselor today! They will help you through every step of transferring.

Here are some of the colleges we found that have easy transfer processes.

Arizona State University Online

ASU Online has a four-step transfer process. They usually accept 64 transfer credits. The process takes 30 minutes to complete and costs $70.

Purdue Global

Purdue offers a very generous transfer policy. Students can receive credit for up to 75% of their undergraduate degree. Work, military, and life skills can also count toward a degree.

Southern New Hampshire University

SNHU has a liberal transfer credit policy. Over 70% of its students are transferees. You may transfer 90 credits, at most, toward an undergraduate degree. SNHU considers your prior college courses, life, and work experience. It’s also one of the cheapest online schools.

Impact on Overall College Costs

Choosing an online transfer school with lower transfer credit evaluation fees can lead to significant savings. Firstly, you can apply to multiple schools and select the one that accepts more transfer credits. Then, you can compare these schools based on lower tuition costs, flexible scheduling options, and how well they meet your needs.

Secondly, the money you save by avoiding costly transfer credit evaluation fees can be a significant relief. It can be spent on important things like textbooks and tuition, easing the immediate financial burden of transferring credits and making college more affordable overall.


Transfer credits are very important when transferring to another college. This helps avoid redoing classes and delays in graduating, saving you large amounts in tuition and educational expenses. However, not all online colleges have the same transfer credit policy, fees, and processes.

It’s essential to research each school’s transfer policies thoroughly to understand their fees and requirements. By doing so, you can find institutions that offer simpler and more affordable transfer credit options, helping you maximize your previous coursework and minimize additional expenses.