Skip to main content

What’s a college credit transfer portal?

    Many students transfer to a new college each year. Despite that, the transfer process isn’t always straightforward. Because this process can be difficult, some schools have created credit transfer portals and course equivalency tools to help ease the process.

    These tools can help students determine what course credits will transfer from one college to another. 

    Continue reading to learn more about college course credit transfer portals and course equivalency tools that schools utilize to help transfer students.

    Of note, schools call these tools various names. If you want to find out if your school has one and what it’s called, reach out to your campus admission office.

    How are college credit transfer portals used?

    College credit transfer portals help facilitate the transfer of credit courses. By using these portals, students can determine if the course credits they took at their old school will transfer to their new school or if courses taken outside of their home school (say, in a summer session) will transfer to their home school so they can utilize the credits towards their degree.

    Whether you’re considering transferring, have already been accepted to transfer, or are thinking about taking summer or winter courses somewhere besides your home school, these tools are meant to make the transfer process more accessible.

    What’s a college course equivalency tool?

    College course equivalency tools often live within college credit transfer portals and are used to determine what courses are equivalent or not at various institutions.

    These equivalency tools help students understand what credits they can transfer and if the courses they need to take at their new school are equivalent to what they may have already taken at their old school.

    Common FAQs about transferring credits

    How should students use transfer tools?

    How students can use transfer portals and equivalency tools varies by school. Therefore, it’s best to reach out directly to your school for specific instructions on how to use the portal and tools, along with any additional steps you may need to take. 

    It’s important to note that although many schools have introduced a portal of some sort, some schools don’t offer one.

    Who’s responsible for determining which credits transfer and which don’t?

    Your new school will officially determine what credits from your old school can transfer. It’s usually either the school’s admissions office, office of the registrar, or a transfer committee that decides this based on various factors — each school has its requirements. Because of this, if you have any questions regarding credits that will and won’t transfer, reach out directly to your new school.

    What should you do if your school doesn’t offer an equivalency tool?

    If your school doesn’t provide this tool, consider contacting your school’s admissions office or its office of the registrar. Your school should be able to provide instructions on determining if your previously earned credits will transfer over (or won’t transfer).

    Keep in mind that equivalency tools often include a large number of courses but may not include every course. If any of the previous courses you’ve taken are unavailable in the tool, you may need to reach out to your new school directly for guidance. In some instances, schools offer an equivalent course request form to help determine the equivalency of courses taken in the past that aren’t available in the tool or other guides.

    Final thoughts

    As you navigate transferring college credits and attending a new college, check your school’s policies so you’re prepared and confident that you’re moving toward your graduation goal. And while the digital tools offered by many colleges to help determine what credits will transfer and which won’t can be helpful, if there’s any confusion, contact your school directly.