This comparison reviews four transfer metrics in all 50 states:
Transferable core of lower-division courses: A set of general education courses agreed upon across all public postsecondary institutions. It must be fully transferable at all public institutions. Institutions may have different naming conventions; however, if that is the case, there is a crosswalk for institutions to use in the transfer process.
Statewide common-course numbering: A uniform numbering convention used at all public postsecondary institutions for lower-division courses.
Statewide guaranteed transfer of an associate degree: Guarantees students who are awarded an associate degree before transfer to a four-year institution can transfer all of their credits to the four-year institution and enter at the junior-standing level. The majority of policies state that students are not required to complete any further general education courses.
Statewide reverse transfer: Requires all public institutions to implement the process of retroactively granting an associate degree to students who had not completed the requirements of an associate degree before they transferred to a four-year institution.
A state received a “yes” if its policy requires all public four-year and two-year institutions to comply. Education Commission of the States searched state legislation and board/commission policies. Sources do not include state programs, individual institution policies or state initiatives; but it is noted in the description when states utilize the latter three sources.
Click on the metrics below for 50-State Comparisons showing how all states approach these policies. Or view a specific state’s approach by going to the individual state profiles page.
- At least 30 states have policies requiring a transferable core of lower-division courses and statewide guaranteed transfer of an associate degree.
- Sixteen states have reverse transfer policies set in legislation. An additional 23 states provide reverse transfer opportunities outside of legislation, including through institutional agreements, MOUs and statewide programs.
- 2018 is seeing the refinement of multiple statewide transfer policies, pointing to a commitment to increase student completion rates.
- All data points for all states
- Transferable Core of Lower-Division Courses
- Statewide Common Course Numbering
- Statewide Guaranteed Transfer of Associate Degree
- Reverse Transfer
- Recent state legislation (select PS Credit Award and Transfer and PS Completion and Attainment from the list of issues).
- Reverse Transfer: The path less traveled
- Reverse Transfer: Paving the pathway
- Reverse Transfer: What is the best route to take?
PUBLISHED: June 12, 2018
RESOURCE TYPE: 50-State Comparison