Reverse Transfer

What is Reverse Transfer?

Most people are familiar with “vertical transfer,” where a student transfers from a two-year institution to a four-year institution and is able to carry forward some, if not all, of the credits that the student earned at a two-year institution toward a degree at a four-year institution. “Reverse transfer,” on the other hand, is the transfer of credits from a four-year institution to a two-year institution from which a student transferred for the purpose of facilitating the awarding of a degree or certificate.

The concept of “reverse transfer” has been gaining traction as institutions and states seek new ways to recognize credits that students have earned that did not result in the awarding of a degree or certificate. The National Student Clearinghouse (NSC) has identified 1.2 million individuals that have completed more than 60 credit hours, but were not awarded a degree or certificate. Read more

Good Jobs Require More Education

Across the nation, good jobs have shifted toward associate’s degree holders and away from workers with a high school diploma or less. The share of good jobs held by high school graduates declined in the overwhelming majority of states between 1991 and 2015. By 2020, 65 percent of all jobs will require postsecondary education and training, up from 28 percent in 1973. Read more

Reverse Transfer Efficiency Act

Lawmakers first introduced legislation in 2017 to assist institutions in identifying students who have earned enough credits to be awarded an associate's degree through "reverse transfer." Currently, there are no processes or guidelines for sharing student credit information from four-year to two-year year institutions for the possible award of degrees or certificates from a two-year institution. 

The bipartisan Reverse Transfer Efficiency Act would create a new exemption under FERPA to permit the disclosure of students' postsecondary coursework and credit information to an institution the student was previously enrolled at for the purpose of applying such coursework and credits toward completion of a recognized postsecondary credential. An institution would still need to "record" the sharing of this data, so it would be part of the student record, and still meet FERPA requirements as institutions would need to receive “consent” from the student before conferring a degree to the student.