Reverse Transfer

A landmark project to award up to two million students
the degrees they earned
, but don't have

What is reverse transfer?

It is the transfer of credits from a four-year institution to any two-year institution from which a student transferred. It doesn't matter if the student transferred to another associate degree granting or bachelor's level institution first, attended public or private institutions, or transferred across state lines. If eligible, the student is awarded an associate degree. Read our FAQs.

What is reverse transfer diagram

The Clearinghouse Reverse Transfer project is a major step in improving higher education outcomes, which will benefit us as a nation. More students will get the degrees they deserve. Community colleges will be recognized for the value they add to education. And — by granting more degrees — states will be better positioned to attract new business.

− Dr. Walter G. Bumphus, President and CEO, American Association of Community Colleges (AACC)

Why is reverse transfer important?

Eligible students can receive a first associate degree that accurately reflects their educational attainment and allows them to compete more successfully in higher education and the workforce.

The importance of reverse transfer of credits has quickly gained national recognition. Many states are developing programs, including Texas, Missouri, Ohio, and Tennessee. More are expected to follow suit. The Correctly Recognizing Educational Achievements to Empower (CREATE) Graduates Act legislation, introduced in summer 2014, encourages states to establish or expand reverse transfer programs.

The strong partnership between El Paso Community College (TX) and the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) features an automatic reverse transfer system. Students who transfer to UTEP with at least 25 percent of an associate degree completed are tracked and then notified when they have earned enough credit to be awarded an associate degree.

− From AACC's letter of support for the Clearinghouse Reverse Transfer project

How many students might qualify for an associate degree via reverse transfer?

Students who attended college for 2+ years between 2003-2013 but didn't earn a degree1
Students who transfer from a community college to a four-year institution without a degree2


We call these individuals "potential completers."

... the Community College Research Center (CCRC) as well as your [Clearinghouse] own data indicates that nearly two-thirds of community college students who transfer to four-year colleges do so without first earning an associate degree. And while more than 80 percent of all entering community college students indicate their intention to earn a baccalaureate degree, only 15 percent end up doing so within six years.

− From AACC's letter of support for the Clearinghouse Reverse Transfer project

What do the two million
"potential completers" have in common?

Two Million Potential Completers
The data capacity of the Clearinghouse will allow institutions to assist students who have transferred from a community college in one state to a four-year institution in another state. Institutions will now have better data to conduct degree audits on students' accumulated records and students will have recognition for achieving their associate degrees.

− Jamie Merisotis, President and CEO, Lumina Foundation

What is Clearinghouse Reverse Transfer?

It is a standardized, streamlined, and technologically enhanced process to enable four- and two-year institutions to transfer student credits more efficiently, securely, and successfully. There will be no fees for the service. The Clearinghouse is the largest education electronic data exchange service provider. Read our FAQs

The Clearinghouse's participation in this initiative can be a potentially effective catalyzer for our member schools to implement a cost effective, near term impact, reverse transfer solution either individually or at the state level.

− From AACC's letter of support for the Clearinghouse Reverse Transfer project

Project will be developed in three phases.

Phase I: Awarding the academic achievements of eligible students

Phase II: Enabling improved data transparency and accuracy

Phase III: Pre-degree Audits

Contact us to learn more about our
Reverse Transfer project

Are you a student?

To find out how you can get a reverse transfer degree, contact your registrar's office.

Thank You. A Clearinghouse representative will
contact you about the National Student Clearinghouse's Reverse Transfer project.

Contributing partners to the Clearinghouse's Reverse Transfer project

We thank you for your funding and/or advisory assistance in developing our Reverse Transfer service.