9 Financial Aid Questions and Answers

This post is for current and future college students. It attempts to provide answers for questions that impact each and every undergraduate student seeking assistance with financing their college education.

  1. Can I know exactly how much a college education will cost before the freshman year?

Unfortunately as much as we’d like to know and be able to plan for college costs, until one completes college, one doesn’t really know how much a college will cost. Here are some reasons why one cannot know the entire cost of college on the front end.

First, financial aid eligibility. Need and/or merit based grants come with financial and/or academic requirements. If one does not meet those financial and/or academic requirements eligibility for these grants can be lost. Losing a grant means that students and/or parents need to come up with a way to cover college costs.

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9 Strategies to Ensure Successful Transfer from Community College to University

Starting at the community college and transferring to the university to complete a college degree provides several benefits, including:

• Lower overall college costs – tuition and fees are lower at the community college and community colleges are unlikely to have living on campus requirements.
• Skipping standardized testing (SAT/ACT)
• Earning a credential along the way – the Associate of Arts (AA) degree.

This post provides actionable information to ensure that the maximum number of credits transfer from community college to university. Continue reading “9 Strategies to Ensure Successful Transfer from Community College to University”

Taking Stock of the First Semester in College

So you just finished the first semester in college. It wasn’t an easy one and things couldn’t have been more different than what you were expecting. But don’t despair your experience is not unique and there is nothing abnormal about it. Here is yet another listsicle with the things that almost all freshmen experienced during their first semester in college.

  1. This is hard stuff. Yes, transitions are always though and when you transition from high school standards and expectations to college ones things are bound to be though. So what you are feeling is normal and almost everybody went through a similar experience. I can promise you that it will get better the second semester and the rest of them will get easier. Hang in there.

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7 Reasons Why College Credits Don’t Transfer

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College transfer can provide significant benefits when done well. However, when left to chance it can be fraught with problems. Today we discuss some of the issues related to college transfer and some of the most common reasons why credits don’t transfer from one institution to another.

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Reverse College Transfer

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The third type of transfer is the reverse transfer. Reverse college transfer is defined as transferring from a university or 4-year institution to a community college or 2-year institution.

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Horizontal or Lateral College Transfer

Horizontal or lateral transfer refers to transferring credits between two similar institutions from one college to another college (2 –year to a 2–year institution) or from one university to another university (4–year to a 4–year institution). Please keep in mind that transferring credits between two institutions with different type of control (public or private) and accreditation (regional or national) can be difficult.

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Vertical College Transfer – From Community College to University

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Credit transfer between a college (2-year institution) and a university (4-year institution) is referred to as vertical transfer. Credit transfer between community college and university is one of the most common types of credit transfer and one of the most efficient ones. It is the most common one because most articulation or institutional transfer agreements cover it. It is efficient because credit loss is minimal during the transfer process. Continue reading “Vertical College Transfer – From Community College to University”

Types of College Credit Transfer

Photo source: Jenkins & Fink, 2015

Out of the students that start at a community college, 80 percent intend to transfer to a 4-year institution and complete a baccalaureate degree. Of the 80 percent, 25 percent do it, and only 17% graduate with a bachelor degree six years later.

The goal of this post is to provide a brief overview of the existing types of college credit transfer. Each type described below is covered in more depth in its own post. Continue reading “Types of College Credit Transfer”

Transfer across Institutions Accredited by Different Accreditation Agencies

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It is important to keep in mind limitations related to credit transfer across universities and colleges accredited by different accreditation agencies when planning for college. Today’s post provides another way to look at college credit transfer through the lens of institutional accreditation. Losing credits during transfer can increase student debt and delay college graduation.

In 2006 the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) examined college credit transfer between institutions with different types of institutional accreditation. The report found that Continue reading “Transfer across Institutions Accredited by Different Accreditation Agencies”

Initial Overview of the College Credit Transfer Process

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More than 30% of the students attend more than one university or college during their college career. This poses an issue because transferring credits between institutions can be a challenging process. Namely students that complete credits at one institution – sending institution – may not get recognition for these credits at another institution – destination institution – and they may need to repeat the course and/or pay for the same course again. Therefore, this post is the first one in the transfer series. The goal for the transfer series is to help you understand the complexities of transfer and plan for any potential barriers that may be arise during this process.

Transfer takes many flavors. It can include transfer from a college to a university, between colleges, universities, and even from a university to a college. The purpose is the same. Students transfer credits to help complete the requirements for a credential. The credential can be an associate degree, a baccalaureate degree, or a certification.

Today’s post provides a quick overview of college transfer and discusses:

  1. Articulation and institutional transfer agreements
  2. Institutional classifications by sector (public, private not-for-profit, and private for-profit) and program length (2-year and 4-year)
  3. Transferring with a degree

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