Trends Shaping Higher Education

Reverse Transfer: Giving Credit Where Credit is Due

reverse transfer


In a recent blog post concerning education trends he expects to see in 2017, Todd Zipper, president and chief executive officer at Learning House, indicates that he expects “reverse transfer” to be a trend that continues well into 2017.

Reverse transfer enables course and grade data to be transferred from a four- or two-year institution to any two-year institution in order to award associate degrees to eligible students. Eligible students can then receive a first associate degree that accurately reflects their educational attainment and allows them to compete more successfully in higher education and the workforce. Studies have shown that students who earn an associate degree before transferring to a four-year institution are more likely to complete a bachelor’s degree than students who transfer before earning their associate degree.

Zipper points out that the University of Hawai’i at West O’ahu has used the reverse transfer program to award more than 1,400 associate degrees in the last two academic years, an increase in the average number of associate degrees awarded of 18 percent. He also observes that as recently as this past November, the Alabama Community College System and all of that state’s public universities have adopted reverse transfer policies.

The National Student Clearinghouse provides more detailed information on reverse transfer programs at