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.

Key Takeaways

  • At least 30 states have policies requiring a transferable core of lower-division courses and statewide guaranteed transfer of an associate degree.
  • Seventeen states have reverse transfer policies set in legislation or board policy. An additional 22 states provide reverse transfer opportunities outside of policy, 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.

50-State Comparisons

  1. All data points for all states
  2. Transferable Core of Lower-Division Courses
  3. Statewide Common Course Numbering
  4. Statewide Guaranteed Transfer of Associate Degree
  5. Reverse Transfer

Related Resources

Staff Contact
Lexi Anderson
landerson@ecs.org
303.299.3611


 PUBLISHED: June 12, 2018

 AUTHOR(S):

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 EDUCATION LEVEL:

 STATE(S): Nationwide

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