What You Need to Know About Transferring Credits

It can be a good feeling to arrive at your first day of college knowing that you've already earned some credits towards your degree. Here are a few things you should know about transferring those credits from high school to your new college.

By Jessica Lyons

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Ways to Get College Credits in High School

One way you could be able to earn college credits while you're still a high school student is by actually enrolling in courses at your local college. Some higher education institutions have partnerships that enable nearby high schools students to enroll in college courses. However, to do so the student must typically be in good academic standing and be deemed ready for higher level courses. There also may be limitations as to exactly which courses students can take.

Some colleges will also award credits for completed Advanced Placement (AP) courses and exams, which are available in about 18,000 schools all over the world. According to the not-for-profit organization College Board, 'more than 90 percent of four-year colleges in the United States and colleges in more than 60 other countries give students credit, advanced placement or both on the basis of AP Exam scores.' With over 30 AP courses to choose from you're likely to find classes that will interest you in addition to helping you get a head start on college credits.

Things to Keep in Mind

It's important to note that every college or university has their own policy for handling transfer credits from your high school years. Some might only let you transfer in credits that were earned specifically at their own school, while others might accept credits you earned at a different accredited higher education institution. And there are some schools that won't accept AP credits. But, if you visit the College Board's website you can do a search for your college of interest to find out what their specific AP policy is. In either case, find out in advance which credits you can transfer so you're not in for any surprises later on.

You should also be sure to find out about any additional requirements you must meet. For instance, you might have to earn a certain grade in order for your credits to be eligible for transfer. Additional requirements could include sending your college an official high school transcript or filling out a related application.

There are also ways parents can help prepare students for college.

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