Not everyone follows a traditional four-year path to a degree, and not everyone starts at the school that’s the best fit for them. While transferring may seem daunting at first, it can be a great way to expand your education opportunities and potentially graduate faster. How do you know which university is the right transfer destination for you? At University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC), more than 90 percent of our active student population comes with transfer credits of some kind, and we can help you transfer with ease. When deciding to transfer, consider a college that:
1. Understands Your Goals
While most universities accept transfer students, not all universities understand why you’re transferring to a new school. Common reasons include:
- To earn a bachelor’s degree after attending community college
- To gain more flexibility and access to education
- To find a program better suited to personal or career goals
- To accommodate an active-duty relocation
- To transition from the military and jump-start a civilian career
- To complete a degree after a short or long pause
- To advance a career
Each of these reasons comes with a different set of considerations and opportunities. UMGC has dedicated advisors to help you with any transfer questions you may have. The more they understand your motivations and goals, the more equipped they will be to help set you up for success.
2. Offers Multiple Ways to Earn Credits
Some universities only consider time spent in a classroom setting, in person or online, as college credit. At UMGC, we consider both prior experience and education in awarding credits which can help you graduate faster and save money. By choosing an institution that translates real-world experience that happens outside of the classroom into credits, you can avoid taking courses that cover subjects you’ve already mastered, enabling you to graduate faster and pay less.
“We look at a student’s entire portfolio of learning, not just college transcripts," says Kris McCall, Chief Transformation Officer at UMGC. “We look at everything a student brings to the table.”
For example, you may be able to earn credits through experience at your current job. Look for universities that offer workplace learning or internship opportunities that allow you to gain real-world experience while also earning college credit.
If you’re a servicemember or veteran, you may be able to receive credit for your military experience and training. You may be eligible to use your existing knowledge to pass the equivalent of a final exam for a specific course or you can document your college level learning by completing a portfolio.
3. Maximizes Transfer Credits
Nearly all colleges and universities now accept transfer credits to some degree, but keep in mind that all schools are different, and transfers are accepted differently. A change of major, grade qualifications, previous college accreditation and other factors can affect the number of credits you transfer. For example, at UMGC we accept up to 70 credits from a community or two-year college or up to 90 credits for bachelor’s degrees.
4. Puts Your Credits on the Fast Path
Consider selecting a school that takes a personalized approach to applying your prior college credit, learning, and experience toward your degree. How you apply your credits is just as important as the number of credits you can transfer. UMGC offers flexible transfer policies to help you achieve your degree faster, which can save you time and money.
5. Is Ready to Help You Transfer
Choosing the right school can feel daunting, but UMGC offers resources to help you feel welcome and make the process as simple as possible. The right school will provide resources you can use when transferring, such as
A transfer credit tool to estimate your potential undergraduate transfer credit and other credits
Alliance programs that offer the direct transfer of credit from community colleges and other institutions
Scholarship opportunities to help make your degree attainable and affordable
A reduced tuition rate for military members
Not only should the school help you as you transfer credits, it should provide assistance every step of the way, help you establish your goals, and secure financial assistance. At UMGC, we provide each student with academic advisors, transfer credit specialists, and financial aid counselors who take a team approach to helping transfer students. Together, they work to ensure your transfer process is clear and seamless.