How to Transfer College Credit to Finish Your Degree


college transfer student

Do you have college credits but no degree? It’s not too late to make your dream of a college degree a reality. But choosing how and where to transfer your credits to another institution can determine how quickly you complete your degree and how much it will ultimately cost.

Understand the College Credit Landscape

Colleges credits vary from institution to institution—and whether yours will be accepted depends mostly on the school you plan to attend. Some schools have very strict policies about institutional and program course alignment, and the grades you earned. Others are more generous when they consider your academic achievements. A few universities also expand their transfer credit programs to include what you learn while on the job or in the military, plus certifications or national tests that you passed.

Examples of Potential College Credit Sources

  • Prior college coursework
  • Experiential learning through a trade, business, or professional job
  • Corporate and military training and certifications

Credits through national testing, including the College Level Examination Program (CLEP), DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSST), Joint Service Transcripts (JST), Community College of the Air Force (CCAF), and other testing sources

Research Universities that Offer Programs of Interest

It doesn’t matter how many credits an institution is willing to accept if the university you choose to attend doesn’t have academic programs that interest you. If you’re not quite certain what you want to study, select a school that offers a wide range of options including Business, Criminal Justice, Healthcare, Information Technology, and other degree programs.

Consider Online Programs

You’ll also want to consider the instructional format of any program you choose. Especially given recent events, an institution well-versed in remote learning may need to be a priority. Many universities that pivoted to online learning in the spring and fall of 2020 due to COVID-19 weren’t well-equipped to do so; some failed miserably at the undertaking. And if getting to school has ever been an obstacle to earning your degree, why not look at online programs? You can transfer your credits and experience to a program and attend school from the convenience of your home—or anywhere you have access to the internet.

Compare College Credit Transfer Policies

Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, contact an enrollment counselor and closely review the options that might be available for you. Ask about all the potential credit you could earn. At National American University, we offer a transfer policy designed to you provide you with the maximum credits possible. Not only can we accept up to 100% of your college credits from a vast range of accredited schools; we also believe you should be rewarded for work experience, military training, and more. And up to 75% of the credits required for an NAU undergraduate program could be earned through transfer credits.

Increase Your Chances to Transfer Credit

The more prepared you are the better your chance of receiving as many transfer credits as possible. Follow these steps and you will enable counselors at your new college to make a quick decision, as well as help you organize your academic and work experience and get all the credit you deserve:

Follow procedures carefully. This means meeting all deadlines, attaching necessary transcripts, and filling out all necessary paperwork or online forms to avoid errors or delays.

Contact the enrollment office. Make sure the university received all of your materials on time.

Prepare a transfer information package. Make a summary of your academic history that includes proof you graduated from a recognized high school (or the U.S. Department of Education-accepted equivalent), your college catalogue with previous courses clearly marked, your transcript, proof of certifications received at work or from your military service, a detailed job description from your past employers, and test scores from the CLEP, DSST and other national exams.

Consider the Cost and Time to Earn Your Degree

The transfer of college credit is critical if you want to save money on your degree. After all, if you’ve already paid for and earned the credits, why would you want to do so again? Those transfer credits can also move you along in your program, saving you time and allowing you to complete your degree more quickly. You’ll be able learn, then earn, in an expedited way.

Apply to Your Program and Use Those College Credits

Once you have decided on the school and program, assemble all documents, including official transcripts and proof of all your potential credits. Complete the free application for federal student aid and apply to college!


Ready to change your life for the better? Finish your degree with the help of transfer credits. National American University has a generous transfer policy so you can finish your degree faster. Call 800-209-0182 to speak to a counselor or fill out the form to request more information now.


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NAU students receiving transfer or experiential learning credit
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