Transfer Credit Treasure – It’s Worth Digging For, II

Last week’s article reviewed where AU has buried information about undergraduate transfer credits on their website. Like many university websites, finding the information you need takes a bit of digging, but It’s (usually) all there. In the case of transfer credits, the effort is worth it if you think you have even one course that may be accepted at AU for transfer credit.

Ready to dig for transcript credit treasure? A summary of the steps to apply for transfer credit at AU follows:

1. Read the instructions.
don’t skip this step. Read everything you can find on AU’s site about transfer credits.

2. Enrol in a program.
Log in to your AU student account through myAU and click on “Change Your Program” under the heading “Manage Your Program.” When filling out the online application, you’ll be asked “Would you like AU to evaluate your previous education for transfer credit?” Click on “yes” and have your credit card ready for the one-time non-refundable evaluation fee, which is currently $100.

(Editor’s Note: Again, a warning, any time you change your program You’re signing up to fulfill the current requirements of the program, which may not be the same as when you first enrolled.)

3. Request transcripts from your previous institutions.
Make sure these are sent directly to AU from the issuing institution, following the instructions in the Undergraduate Calendar. Expect to pay a fee to the issuer. I paid $15 but the fee varies widely between institutions.

4. Wait.
Expect to wait 8 to 10 weeks at least (I waited 11 weeks in early 2013.) Check for progress under “Check Your Program Admission Status” in myAU to monitor progress and find the results of the evaluation. When the message “your transfer credit evaluation is now complete” appears on the Admission Status page, you can click on the transfer credit report to see the results of the evaluation. Next to each of the courses listed on the assessment report you’ll find information on if and/or how your course was accepted for AU credit. Courses that have been accepted for AU transfer credit will show the number of credits, the area of study, and the equivalent AU course, if applicable. If zero credits appear next to the course, read the description column to find out the reason why it wasn’t accepted. In some cases, AU requires more information to evaluate the course. If you have any questions about your transfer credit assessment, follow the link at the top of the report to contact a student advisor.

5. Follow up with course outlines.
If, on your Transfer Credit report, the notation “Require Outline” appears next to one of your courses, then AU does not have sufficient information to evaluate that course. If you didn’t keep, or can’t locate, your course outlines, contact the educational institution where you took that course to request the specified outline(s) making sure that the outlines are from the year you took the course (as indicated on the Transfer Credit report from AU.) Mail copies to AU to the address specified in the Undergraduate Calendar, remembering to keep copies for your own files.

6. Wait more.
AU doesn’t specify how long this process usually takes, but I waited a reasonable four weeks to have my course outlines evaluated. Once the evaluation is complete, you’ll receive a letter from AU’s Office of the Registrar. You’ll still need to log in to your AU student account and click on “Check Your Program Admission Status” then “Transfer Credit” to see the results. You can also access “Degree Works” to see how your credits fit into your selected program.

The above is a simplified summary of the steps involved. In all cases, abide by the information provided by Athabasca University when applying for transfer credit or when registering in a program.

Remember, if you get any of your previous courses accepted at AU for transfer credit, you’ll save time and money as your work towards your degree. Some universities will not even consider granting transfer credits for courses taken at other educational institutions. Transfer credit is something that AU gets right.

Barbara Lehtiniemi is a writer, photographer, and AU student. She lives on a windswept rural road in Eastern Ontario

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