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Universities will have to be more outspoken about student transfer requirements under new measures U.S. Congressman Joaquin Castro introduced to Congress on Wednesday.
The goal, Castro said, is to prevent students who want to transfer from losing the college credit they’ve already earned.
Castro’s Transfer Student Transparency Act guarantees two- and four-year schools to post financial aid information and transfer deadlines on their websites and that student credits are accepted. It is mandatory to list all schools. .
The Federal Higher Education Act of 1965 requires schools to disclose credit transfer policies, including a list of institutions with which they have transfer agreements, also known as credit recognition agreements. However, current law does not require this information to be posted on the university’s website.
“Community colleges are an affordable and accessible way for many students to begin their education, but at too many schools, complex transfer policies prevent transfer students from completing a four-year degree. “The Transparency Act for Transfer Students will provide students with better information about college mediation agreements, prevent credit losses, and help students earn their degrees,” Castro said in a statement. It helps save valuable time and money in
Nationally, only 30% of community college students transfer to a four-year college to continue their studies, and on average those students lose 40% of their credits and more to repeat courses. have to spend a lot of time and money on This also increases the chances of students not completing their degree.
According to the 2021 Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, in Texas, 67% of students who transferred from community colleges in their third year ended up with a bachelor’s degree. report. That same report found that it took an average of 7.5 years for a transfer student to earn a bachelor’s degree, while a student who entered and graduated from college took her 5.3 years to earn a bachelor’s degree. .
Another state reported in 2021 that 25% of transfer students who enrolled in fall 2020 had at least one course rejected by the public four-year college they transferred to. Common reasons include the course not meeting the degree requirements or the student not performing well enough.
Castro’s bill would also amend the Higher Education Act to specify that schools must present this information online in a way that is “easy to find” and “easy to read.”
Alexis Torres, a spokesperson for Castro, said in an email that “instead of making it easier for students to understand, the formal document detailing the transfer of credits earned at one institution to another institution should include: “Furthermore, the school is not required to post this information specifically on its website, so students have a hard time finding this information.” We may have to spend more time.”
For years, federal officials have recommended such requirements. According to a 2017 report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office, the U.S. Department of Education is asking schools to provide information about articulation conventions and transfer resources online. According to the report, about 68% of public schools nationwide have that information on their websites. The report estimates that about 54% of private non-profit universities and 47% of for-profit schools have such information on their websites.
According to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, all Texas colleges and universities have pages dedicated to transfer students on their websites, but the level of information varies from school to school. According to the board’s 2021 report, 29 of the state’s 37 public universities list online requirements for the number of credits students must earn to graduate from that university. Only 28 colleges post their maximum number of credits accepted online.
A Texas community college leader says the more information, the better.
“For many students, time is the enemy of getting a degree,” said Mike Flores, president of the Alamo University School District in San Antonio, in a statement. “Our approach at Alamo Colleges is to use a comprehensive Transfer Advising Guide (TAG) in combination with connecting to accredited academic advisors to not only save students time, but to help Alamo Colleges either graduate from or transfer to a university.
In 2019, the state passed legislation to smooth the transfer process between two- and four-year schools. Part of that law requires schools to report to the state any credits they do not accept from other schools. Before the law was passed, states didn’t keep data on what credits students lost when they transferred schools.
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