Why is a class Likely or Unlikely to transfer?

  • For any college degree, such as an Associate’s or Bachelor’s program, consider that general education courses make up roughly one-third of your degree. The other two-thirds? This is where you have some core requirements specific to your major, e.g., Engineering, Business, etc. This is also where electives enter the picture, as well as some fine-tuning for your major. We know that these terms may be familiar to some and unfamiliar to others. LikelyThis™ is based upon a simple concept: are your courses mostly found in general education categories or major core requirements? If the answer to this is yes, your class is Likely to transfer. Specifically, colleges and universities typically are willing to accept this kind of credit for transfer as opposed to upper-level courses deep into your major that are normally desired and reserved for the institution where you eventually want to complete your degree.

  • A word or two of caution: ensure that the credit you’re looking to transfer is from an accredited college or university. How to tell? We like to reference the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Also, if you’re attending a community college or taking community college credit as a high school student, we recommend that you stick to a class or classes designed for transfer, where this is typically found in an Associate in Arts or Associate in Science degree.

Quick Comparison for Your Reference:

Course Title Category Transfer Likelihood
Intro to Psychology General Education Likely to Transfer
Principles of Marketing Major Core Requirement Likely to Transfer
Thermodynamics of Materials Upper-Division Requirement Unlikely to Transfer
Basic Automotive Engines Vocational/ Major Requirement Unlikely to Transfer

How and Why

General Education Requirement v. Major Requirements v. General Elective Credit

General education classes. Gen Ed classes are requirements not necessarily part of your major, e.g., Business, that you need in order to earn an associate degree and/or bachelor degree from any accredited college/university. Examples of gen eds include Freshman Composition, Introduction to Psychology, etc. General Education requirements typically represent roughly 12- 14 courses (about 36 semester credit hours), or about one-third of your bachelor’s degree. For a typical transfer associate degree, e.g., AA or AS, this is about two-thirds of your 2-yr program.

Major Requirements. While your general education requirements make up about one-third of your bachelor’s degree, your major requirements will represent at least about another one-third of your bachelor’s degree, roughly a minimum of 12 semester credit hours. Examples of these classes? Any 300-400 level courses: Thermodynamics; Advanced Financial Accounting. There are transfer opportunities, here, however, where we suggest taking about six to seven “major core requirements” while at your community college or university. Examples of these classes? Look for things like Principles of Managerial Accounting, Statics, Dynamics, Abnormal Psychology, etc. “Major core requirements” refers to course requirements for a particular college, e.g., College of Business, regardless of specific major, e.g., Accounting or Finance.

General Electives. Electives typically represent whatever is left to satisfy your Bachelor degree requirements (120 semester credit hours typical for a Bachelor’s Degree), often about seven or eight courses (about 20ish semester credit hours). For any given institution, elective courses can be completely up to the discretion of the student so long as they are in the general field of study declared, e.g., any Business class of choice for a Business major. The distinction here? These specific elective courses are not prescribed by the college but rather afford the student some freedom in selecting based upon interest. For transfer purposes, this is a friendly category in which to apply credit, where if a college/university does not have an exact equivalent of a transfer course within the major, they might assign the said course to this elective category to still count towards the 120ish credit hour requirements for the Bachelor’s degree.

Undecided Students


Feeling undecided on where to attend college? What major to choose? What are you looking for in a college destination? At LikelyThis™ we enjoy simplicity. For instance, simply, write on a blank sheet of paper at least five to seven priorities for you when looking at your next destination, e.g., distance of college from home, size of school, price, etc. We recommend doing this early and often (like every couple of months) to help in your decision making.

For a major, remember this: it is rare that a major limits you to one particular career (exceptions are in the case of nursing or teaching). Over time, there is compelling evidence that those who major in fields of study like Philosophy, Japanese, etc. tend to earn the same average salary as those in more vocational fields, e.g., Business. One exercise, however, to help with your major selection:

  • 1. Select a particular college versus major, e.g., College of Health Sciences or College of Business or College of Engineering?
  • 2. Once a college is selected, e.g., College of Business, choose courses that meet core requirements. Example, a College of Engineering will require a Calculus sequence regardless if you’re interested in Electrical Engineering or Chemical Engineering, etc.
  • 3. Take classes in things that interest you but do this in collaboration with a guidance counselor, academic advisor, or admissions counselor.
  • 4. Absolutely visit a college or university (ideally several) and do this through official channels, i.e., Admissions Office. Additionally, be sure to inquire if you can meet one-on-one with a faculty member in the field of study that interests you to help in your decision making. This could also include a tour of a college or department in the area(s) of interest, e.g., College of Business.

High School Students

LikelyThis™ Considerations for High School Students:

“High School students - are you trying to get a jumpstart on your college journey? AP Credit? Dual Credit at your high school or credit taken directly at your community college? This is certainly typical. For this reason, LikelyThis™ also factors in your AP Courses, as well as that Dual Credit/Community College course work. This is fraught with nuances, however, such as your particular AP Test Score, or if that community college credit is considered “transfer-friendly.”

What if you’re undecided on where to attend college, or for what major? LikelyThis™ has included some resources and encourages you to check them out early and often. As with all of our suggestions, make sure that you don’t do this in isolation. Always connect with your School Counselors and College Admissions representatives. You may also find it helpful to consult with an Independent Education Consultant but be wary, this often comes with a hefty price tag.


Resources

  • CommonApp
  • CoalitionApp
  • Two popular and seamless application tools, CommonApp and CoalitionApp contain resources and considerations for your college search. Additionally, they make it easy to apply to a multitude of colleges/universities (highly recommended by the way). LikelyThis™ encourages college applicants to apply to at least five colleges, preferably early in your senior year of high school, i.e., by November 1.

  • ARWU
  • We confess that we have a bias against any college ranking systems but understand the draw to consult these types of lists. In general, we like the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), as this trends towards a specific methodology in their approach.

  • CampusReel.org
  • Whatever you do, make sure you visit colleges of interest, preferably in an official capacity where you schedule this through an Admissions Office. This isn’t always doable, however, especially if you are trying to visit several or a dozen campuses; in which case, virtual is the way to go and LikelyThis™ is partial to the student narrative showcased through CampusReel.org.

  • https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
  • Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU)
  • Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU)
  • Did you know that students who attend HSI’s (Hispanic Serving Institutions) and HBCU’s (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) tend to have greater academic success rates than if those same students went to a non-Minority Serving Institution (MSI)? Don’t take our word for it, check out another great resource, UNCF.org.

  • Bold.org
  • Partners of LikelyThis.xyz, LLC™, Bold.org boasts a robust array of scholarships for students to pursue.

  • Ap Credit
  • Probably the most friendly “early college” approach to getting ahead while in high school, ensure that you are researching how your targeted colleges accept these credits and note that there is not a universal approach here: each college is different as to how they accept AP Credit.

  • ACT/SAT and Test-Optional or Test-Blind
  • More and more colleges are becoming test-optional, meaning that they don’t require submission of the ACT/SAT. Our suggestion? Still submit these test scores for consideration when applying, as this might be the difference between acceptance and denial. Note that some schools, however, are going “test blind,” meaning that they will not look at the ACT/SAT even if it’s submitted. We like this and hope that this becomes a trend.

  • Independent Education Consultants
  • Are you seeking outside professional assistance to your college search? This isn’t a bad idea but be mindful of the expense typically associated with Independent Education Consultants. Also, bear in mind that these consultants often come from a background as Admissions Counselors and Guidance Counselors, these are the very people you have access to anyway, and they’re free to connect with at your convenience.

  • Dual Credit and Concurrent Enrollment
  • Aside from the AP approach, consider Dual Credit and Concurrent Enrollment possibilities, which allow you local college credit from your community college. This can help jumpstart your college career but make sure to look into how these credits will work for you when moving forward, as they are often rather career-specific, e.g., Nursing.

Community College Students

LikelyThis™ Considerations for Community College Students:

LikelyThis™ has included some resources and encourages you to check them out early (today isn’t a bad time to start :)) and often. As with all of our suggestions, make sure that you don’t do this in isolation. Always connect with your Academic Advisor and Admissions Representatives for guidance. Also, remember to apply early for financial aid (fafsa.ed.gov), typically October for those in the fall semester looking at an upcoming fall semester for transfer. For applying? Do not apply to just one college! Look to apply to several (5-7) colleges and do this by February for those looking at fall admission, or October for those looking at spring admission.


Resources

  • CommonApp
  • CoalitionApp
  • Two popular and seamless application tools, CommonApp and CoalitionApp contain resources and considerations for your college search. Additionally, they make it easy to apply to a multitude of colleges/universities (highly recommended by the way). LikelyThis™ encourages college applicants to apply to at least five colleges, preferably early in your senior year of high school, i.e., by November 1.

  • ARWU
  • We confess that we have a bias against any college ranking systems but understand the draw to consult these types of lists. In general, we like the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), as this trends towards a specific methodology in their approach.

  • CampusReel.org
  • Whatever you do, make sure you visit colleges of interest, preferably in an official capacity where you schedule this through an Admissions Office. This isn’t always doable, however, especially if you are trying to visit several or a dozen campuses; in which case, virtual is the way to go and LikelyThis™ is partial to the student narrative showcased through CampusReel.org.

  • Transferology.com
  • Do you know where you want to transfer, or maybe looking for a specific course equivalent at another institution? Transferology enables you to determine if a particular class has an exact equivalent at another institution. Remember, however, that this also should not be done in isolation but rather with your Academic Advisor to illustrate not just if a class transfers but how it might be likely to transfer.

  • IAI (Illinois Articulation Initiative)
  • Though this agreement is specific to Illinois, other states have systems in place such as this to help with your course selection. Systems such as this can be confusing and filled with jargon; however, and (once again) this resource is best utilized when in collaboration with your Academic Advisor.

  • Phi Theta Kappa (PTK)
  • (The PTK Society is a valuable opportunity for high achieving community college students (for students who generally have a 3.5 cumulative grade point average). Though membership is $60, institutions typically award students thousands of dollars for this recognition

  • National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)
  • The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) offers a robust search tool for an insightful look into college/university options that include filters pertaining to location, major, size, etc.

  • Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU)
  • Association representing more than 500 colleges/universities committed to serving and advocating for the Latinx community.

  • Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU)
  • Network of students and alumni from Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs).

  • Bold.org
  • Partners of LikelyThis.xyz, LLC™, Bold.org boasts a robust array of scholarships for students to pursue.

  • PLA/Credit for Prior Learning
  • Credit awarded for past experience, including internships, apprenticeships, job-related competencies, licensures, etc. This information can typically be found on an institution’s Admission Page of the website but be warned that credit awarded through this process only applies to that particular institution and is non-transferable.

  • Articulation Agreements, Collegiate Partnerships
  • An agreed-upon relationship between a 2-year institution and a 4-year institution, whereby the 4-year college/university indicates their agreement to award transfer credit in a particular fashion. Look for these agreements on a community college’s website and know that this does not force you into attending that 4-year college. These agreements are especially helpful if you know where you want to transfer after your community college experience.

  • Honors Programs
  • Did you know that students involved in a community college Honors Program tend to fare better in transfer, especially if continuing on into an Honors Program upon matriculation to that 4-year college/university? Connect with your Academic Advisor to determine eligibility and benefits of your school’s Honors Program

  • Student Employment
  • Needing money while in school? Look to opportunities at your community college, where there are often a number of positions available to students. Furthermore, students involved in a student employment program typically transfer at higher rates and achieve higher grade point averages (GPA’s) than non-student employees.

  • Career Services
  • Upon entering, going through any college/university, always meet once per semester with a Career Counselor (sometimes termed a Career Coach). This free service aids students in career exploration, interview and resume coaching, as well as internship assistance and employer connections.

4-Year College Students

LikelyThis™ Considerations for Community College Students:

“4yr college students - what are you looking for in a transfer destination? At LikelyThis™ we enjoy simplicity. For instance, simply, write on a blank sheet of paper at least five to seven priorities for you when looking at your next destination, e.g., distance of college from home, size of school, price, etc. Also, have you transferred more than once? Be wary of the number of times you transfer. If this looks like going from one 4yr college to another 4yr college to another 4yr college… this is too much and we’d caution you of wasted transfer credit and potential financial aid limitations. LikelyThis™ has included some resources and encourages you to check them out early (today isn’t a bad time to start :)) and often. As with all of our suggestions, make sure that you don’t do this in isolation. Always connect with your Academic Advisor and Admissions Representatives for guidance. Also, remember to apply early for financial aid (fafsa.ed.gov), typically October for those in the fall semester looking at an upcoming fall semester for transfer. For applying? Do this by February for those looking at fall admission, or October for those looking at spring admission.

Resources

  • Transferology.com
  • Do you know where you want to transfer, or maybe looking for a specific course equivalent at another institution? Transferology enables you to determine if a particular class has an exact equivalent at another institution. Remember, however, that this also should not be done in isolation but rather with your Academic Advisor to illustrate not just if a class transfers but how it might be likely to transfer.

  • CommonApp
  • CoalitionApp
  • Two popular and seamless application tools, CommonApp and CoalitionApp contain resources and considerations for your college search. Additionally, they make it easy to apply to a multitude of colleges/universities (highly recommended by the way). LikelyThis™ encourages college applicants to apply to at least five colleges, preferably early in your senior year of high school, i.e., by November 1.

  • Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU)
  • Association representing more than 500 colleges/universities committed to serving and advocating for the Latinx community.

  • Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU)
  • network of students and alumni from Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs).

  • Bold.org
  • Partners of LikelyThis.xyz, LLC™, Bold.org boasts a robust array of scholarships for students to pursue.

  • Career Services
  • Upon entering, going through any college/university, always meet once per semester with a Career Counselor (sometimes termed a Career Coach). This free service aids students in career exploration, interview and resume coaching, as well as internship assistance and employer connections.

Timeline

Before you apply (ideally starting two years prior to your next college destination)

  • Visit colleges of interest (we recommend visiting at least five, in-person). Checkout CampusReel.org for virtual visit opportunities if you are unable to visit in-person.
  • Have you identified a major? If so, begin exploring admission requirements, prerequisites that may pertain to your specific program of interest.
  • Learn more about transfer credits by leveraging our resources at LikelyThis™ but also connect early and often with your Guidance Counselor, Academic Advisor, etc.
  • Did you know you can submit your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA.ed.gov) even before you apply to college? Think October 1, as this is when the FAFSA opens and it’s always in your best interest to apply for this early, even if you don’t believe you’ll qualify for federal financial aid.

Transfer Admission Timeline

*Based on a typical fall semester for admission

  • -Submit your college applications to at least 5 colleges. We recommend asking these college admissions representatives if they can waive your application fee - this can get pricey to apply to so many colleges but schools are often willing to waive the application fee, especially if you apply early.

    - Have you submitted your FAFSA yet? FAFSA.ed.gov.

    - Investigate and apply to as many scholarships as possible. This information can typically be found on a college admissions website but also through outside resources such as LikelyThis.xyz and Bold.org.

  • - Visit your top two or three colleges again.

    - This is often when you will receive your financial aid award to know what your cost will actually be to attend. NOTE: Apply to a school even if it seems out of reach financially, as you won’t truly know your out-of-pocket estimated expense until your financial aid award comes through.

    - Have you received an evaluation of your college credit? If not, time to ask this of your college admissions counselor(s).

  • - May 1 is typically when deposits are due, AKA, when you need to decide where you’re going to attend.

    - Submit your final official college transcripts for any pending classes taken that have recently ended.

    - Do you have any other lingering credit, transcripts? Consider any prior AP Test Scores, High School Dual Credit, as well as IB exam results.

    - Are you eligible for the Honors Program at your next school? We highly recommend pursuing this option if applicable, typically requiring a 3.5 cumulative grade point average for admission.