Can I Reuse Previous Credits for my Accelerated Degree Program?
The answer to this question can be complicated. There are many accelerated degree programs that promise students they can use old credits from previous educational pursuits as a means of finishing their degree more quickly, but there are some circumstances that will prevent you from doing so. If you are counting on reusing credits to shorten your accelerated degree program or as a means of saving money, you will need to meet with an advisor from the college to determine what options you have. Get any agreements about credit transfers in writing to ensure that you will be able to go through with this plan once you start working on your new degree.
Check if Your Accelerated Degree is Partnered with Other Schools
Most major colleges have a running list of other schools that they will accept credits from. Schools that have a very different curriculum or have easier standards for finishing a degree may not transfer to a more rigorous program. If you are hoping to transfer to an accelerated degree program at a major university, talk to an administrator about the types of credits they accept so you can get a feel for whether or not your previous work might meet these requirements.
On a similar note, if you had begun a degree in a very different field than the accelerated degree program you will be entering, the school may not accept all of your credits. These credits may not be relevant to the course material, so they cannot be used as a means of showcasing whether or not you have the skills necessary to work in the field in which you are studying. Once again, the best way to determine if these types of credits will transfer is to ask a representative from the school.
Are Your Credits Still Active?
Credits you have earned for a degree you did not complete may expire after a set number of years. Standard colleges usually say that their credits expire after 5 years because advances in the field may render the information you have learned obsolete. If you left school with unpaid bills you may also not be able to access your credits when you go to start your accelerated degree program. Talk to your previous school about what credits may still be active and transferable before you start looking at new degree programs to get a feel for what you may be able to use toward your new educational pursuits.
Check for Fees for Your Accelerated Degree
In some cases an accelerated degree program will allow you to transfer credits from a previous degree, but will charge you a fee to do so. This fee should be less than the tuition charged for credits through the program, but it can still be a bit expensive. Those hoping to transfer credits to save money should check if this kind of policy is in place to ensure that it is affordable to use old credits as part of your new degree.