Natalie is a teacher and holds an MA in English Education and is in progress on her PhD in psychology.
Marilyn is applying to colleges. She's very excited about going to college, but she's worried about the costs. College is so expensive, and Marilyn needs to save money wherever she can.
Marilyn has heard that she can save money with transfer credit. That is, she's heard that she can earn college credit somewhere other than the college where the degree is earned. Many transfer credits come in the form of taking classes at another college, like a community college, that costs less.
However, there are alternative ways to gain transfer credit that do not include taking classes at all. Let's take a closer look at alternative transfer credits and how to find a college that accepts all types of transfer credits.
Marilyn knows that transfer credits can save her money, but how exactly can they do that? And what types of transfer credit should she pursue?
Taking courses at college costs money. Tuition, or what you pay the school to take classes, can either be charged per class, per credit, or per semester. But even if Marilyn's school charges her a flat amount per semester, the more classes she has to take, the more semesters she'll be in school.
On the other hand, transfer credits can save money and time by allowing Marilyn to take fewer classes at her college. As we said before, classes at another school, like a community college, are one way to earn transfer credits.
Another option for Marilyn is to earn credit-by-exam, or take a test to earn college credit. The tests only cost around $100 each to register, and you can study for them using free resources, like online videos.
However, because credit-by-exam is an alternative route to earning transfer credits (as opposed to the more traditional way of earning them through classes at another college), not all schools accept credit-by-exam scores. This could be a big problem if Marilyn takes a bunch of tests, only to find out that her school won't accept transfer credits earned through exams!
So what should Marilyn do? The good news is that she is still applying to college, so she can keep her options open. She has the ability to choose a college that will accept transfer credits earned through taking tests. That way, she knows going in that she can save money on tuition by taking exams.
But how does she know whether a college will accept credit-by-exam or not? There are essentially two places for her to go to find out the answer to that question, and at least partially, the place Marilyn will go will depend on whether she's already a student at the school or not.
For prospective students, a good place to go is the office of admissions. They can usually answer your questions about what types of transfer credits are accepted, including transfer credits earned through test-taking. As she's applying to colleges, this is a good first step for her.
For prospective students or enrolled students, the people to ask work in the registrar's office. If Marilyn is already a student at a school, this is where she'll want to go. Even if she's not, she may prefer to go to the registrar's office over the office of admissions. It's really a matter of choice.
Further, if there's any question about whether the information that Marilyn's gotten from the office of admissions is correct, the registrar's office is the place to find that information. Or, if the office of admissions says one thing and the registrar says another, the registrar's answer is the one to go with.
Why believe the registrar over the office of admissions? When Marilyn is ready to transfer her credits to the school, the registrar's office is the one that processes her paperwork. As such, they have the most accurate information.
Tuition is very high at college, and one way to save money on it is through transfer credits. The most cost-saving way of earning transfer credits is through credit-by-exam, but not all schools accept credit earned through taking tests. To find out if a school does, a student should ask the office of admissions or the registrar's office.
When this lesson is over, you should be able to:
- Identify how you can begin college with transfer credits
- Recognize what transfer credits are and the various ways you can earn them
- Understand how to check with admissions and the registrar on acceptance of transfer credits
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