Online College Transfer Credit Evaluation: Top Schools for Efficiency & Transparency

online college transfer credit evaluation

Are you thinking of transferring to a different school? Do you have questions regarding your online college transfer credit? If yes, then this article will help you—big time!

As a transfer student, you’ll deal with different sets of problems. You have to adjust to new academic standards and relearn new school policies. But these are often just the tip of the problems transfer students encounter.

The most significant one, according to several transfer students, is credit transfer. This process is long, challenging, and often uncertain. Imagine spending years earning credits at one institution, only to face the possibility that some or all of those credits may not count towards your degree at your new school.

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This setback is frustrating. This will oblige you to retake the courses, which means additional tuition expenses.

The benefits of transferring credits are significant; it allows you to save both time and money. However, not all colleges approach transfer credit evaluations with the same clarity and efficiency. This is why it’s important to understand the transfer credit processes.

In this article, we will look into the different transfer credit processes in some US online colleges. We aim to help you understand how each works, allowing you to evaluate for yourself which online college transfer credit process will best work for you.

Why Transfer Credit Evaluation Matters

Over half of undergraduates transfer colleges at least once before completing a degree. There are many reasons for this:

  1. To save money.
  2. To pursue better opportunities.
  3. To change majors.
  4. To restart and return to college.

College transfer is not just about switching schools. A big part of them is academic credit transfer. For whatever reason you have, it’s important to compare and consider online colleges that transfer credits.

Credits are typically divided into three broad categories in post-secondary educational institutions; however, these categories may go by different names at different universities. But in general, they are called:

  • General education credits
  • Major credits
  • Elective credits

It’s common for some transfer students to think, “My campus credits are from an established college/university; this should be easy to transfer to an online university.” This is often the kind of thinking that will leave you with mountains of debt.

The transfer credit evaluation for each online school can be different.

We’re here to remind you that each college has its own specific criteria. Regardless of whether you’ve earned credits in an institution that you think is “more prestigious,” an online college can still refuse them if they don’t fall within their course descriptions or syllabi.

Here are two reasons why you should prioritize online colleges for transfer students with  easy transfer credit process:

Financial Benefits

One of the main reasons why students transfer anyway is financial. However, transferring schools without being able to transfer credits would defy the purpose of saving money. Online colleges can be cheaper, but they can also be expensive if you don’t carefully plan your transfer strategy.

To give you a better understanding, here’s a hypothetical scenario:

You’ve taken general education credits at institution A and spent $5,000 on them. Now, as you prepare to transfer to institution B, which offers online courses at a lower tuition rate, you’re hopeful these credits will transfer smoothly to minimize your expenses.

However, if institution B does not recognize all of your general education credits from institution A, you may find yourself in a difficult situation. Despite the lower tuition rate at institution B, you could end up having to retake some courses, essentially paying twice for the same education. This increases your overall expenses and delays your progress toward earning a degree.

Academic Benefits

The school will require you to retake courses when your credits go unrecognized. Not only does this double your expenses, but it can also delay your academic progress and success. Delayed academic progress often results in a loss of motivation and momentum.

Unrecognized credits lead to two things: loss of momentum and loss of motivation. It is also a major waste of time.

The time you spend repeating courses could be better used to advance your studies or explore new subjects. Each semester is an opportunity to broaden your knowledge and skills, but repeating courses due to unrecognized credits stalls this growth. It’s not only about the time you waste in class; it’s also about missing out on opportunities like hands-on experiences. 

Criteria for a Good Transfer Credit Evaluation Process

Here are a few common requirements for transferring credits.

Academic Reputation

Online colleges prefer to accept credits from schools with the same accreditation type. Regional accreditation is deemed to be the gold standard in higher education, so credits from these institutions are highly likely to be accepted.

If you’re transferring from a two-year to a four-year college, ask your current school about transfer agreement programs.


Generally, high credit grades, such as C or higher, can be accepted. However, certain majors might need a C+ or higher for a course to count toward their requirements. If a course is transferred with a C grade, the student will earn credits, but it might not fulfill the major requirement, possibly requiring them to retake the course.

Grade Point Average

In addition to individual course grades, your overall GPA plays a significant role in the transfer credit evaluation process. Universities often have minimum GPA requirements for accepting transfer credits. A higher GPA generally increases the likelihood of an efficient transfer credit process.

Credit Value

Credits that aren’t in semester hours are converted to match semester hours. This ensures consistency, but it also means a course from institution A might not count the same way as one from institution B. The online college you’re transferring to should have transparent credit transfer policies.

The best online colleges for transfer credits should have:

  • Proper accreditation: to ensure high academic standards.
  • Transparent credit transfer policies: to reduce uncertainty and help students plan future educational pathways more effectively.
  • Flexible course offerings: to cater to diverse academic interests. This ensures that students find relevant courses that align with their career goals.
  • Supportive advising: to help students navigate the process smoothly and maximize the credits they can transfer.

Here are a few transfer student tips that will help you increase your chances of academic success:

  1. Research the credit transfer policies of your target institution.
  2. Review your academic records and transcripts.
  3. Consult with academic advisors and transfer specialists.
  4. Apply for credit transfer as early as possible.

Most importantly, be flexible and realistic about your college credit transfer. Do not expect all of your credits to transfer, or you’ll graduate faster. Additionally, you should be prepared to modify your timetable and academic plan as necessary.

Top 5 Online Colleges with Excellent Transfer Credit Evaluation Processes

After understanding the transfer credits process, it’s time to explore the top five transfer-friendly online colleges. These online colleges are popular for offering smooth and excellent previous coursework evaluations.

Arizona State University

ASU Online’s generous acceptance of 64 semester hours and ease of transfer are very appealing. Over 72% of ASU’s students are transfer students from two-year and four-year institutions. As a transfer student, you won’t undergo a stressful process, thanks to ASU’s four-step transfer process.

Transfer students will also receive personalized tuition savings tips.

Florida International University

Many FIU’s online students could transfer at least 60 credit hours of previous coursework to its online programs. If you’re from another Florida college, you can expect a seamless and very convenient automatic transfer process. You can expect a variety of scholarship opportunities at FIU as well.

Liberty University

Liberty has one of the most generous online transfer credit policies. Students can transfer up to 75% of their course credits or 90 credit hours. They consider military experience and on-the-job training for transfer credits. You can use their online tool to estimate how many credits you can transfer.

California State University – Fullerton

Transferring credits to CSU-Fullerton is really easy. All you need is 60 semester hours and a GPA of 2.0 (at minimum) to be accepted. The 30 hours are dedicated to general education courses, each requiring at least a “C” grade. However, financial aid for transfer students may be limited.

Western Governors University 

WGU recognizes prior learning through competency-based assessments. Students can file for transfer credits for both college and life-earned experiences. It’s known to help students accelerate their learning. It’s also one of the most affordable online colleges, with a flat rate per six-month term.


It’s important to understand that each college has its own set of transfer credit policies and processes. The best, however, will depend on your personal circumstances.

You must understand the individual process, limitations, and criteria to ensure you pick the right transfer school. You can contact your current and future school’s admission officers for specific guidance tailored to your situation. They can provide insights into how your credits might transfer and any additional requirements you need to fulfill.