Varying standards bring transfer frustration
Published: Friday, September 6, 2013
Updated: Friday, September 6, 2013 14:09
When I decided to transfer to ASU, I expected the next two years to be filled with new experiences.
However, I was not expecting those two years to turn into three years, filled with retaking classes I had already taken at my previous college.
What I thought would be my dream transfer school is shrouded in the credit-transferring nightmare.
Unfortunately, my case is nothing new. Across the nation, students who earn credits at multiple colleges must jump through hoops in the hopes that their credits will transfer.
Some will be successful. Others will be forced to trade in a year of making money for a year of spending money on their prolonged education.
According to the Department of Education, less than 40 percent of college students will graduate within four years.
I was determined to be a part of this minority. I was diligent about keeping up with classes and homework, as well as meeting my degree requirements.
My reward came last May, when I graduated with an Associates Degree. My punishment came when I found out over half of my college credits wouldn’t transfer to corresponding classes to earn my Bachelors’ Degree.
Community colleges are said to be a wise economical decision, offering smaller class sizes balanced out with affordable prices.
Theoretically, students could spend their first two years at a community college, and spend considerably less money on their Bachelors’ degree than students who attended the same university all four years. Many community colleges pitch this idea to encourage students to enroll.
However, each college has different standards for completing a degree. What community colleges don’t tell students is that the process of transferring college credits is anything but easy. Although the end result is often the same, getting there is different depending on the college.
While the transfer school may earn extra money in the short term, over time, it can be a major detriment to the school, as well as the economy.
It’s no secret that college costs are on the rise. Students who are already strapped on financial aid may have to drop out of school in order to make up the costs and the students who can stay are stuck sinking further into student loan debt.
There are multiple solutions to answer the growing problem of transfer discrepancies.
First, seamless transfers across states are a no-brainer. If a student has an associate’s degree at any accredited institution, it should be fair to say that they have completed their general education requirements, regardless of where it was earned.
Next, a streamlined, national standard for class requirements is essential, not only for community college transfers, but for everyone attending multiple colleges.
Earning a college degree is synonymous with training for a higher paying job. Shouldn’t we all receive the same credit for the same education?
Transferring to another college is already full of new challenges. It’s time to make the transition a little easier so students can make their dreams a reality.