Each year students transfer into the University of Mary Washington and unwittingly lose credit hours, or do not get them transferred as major credit, but rather as elective credits.
On the UMW website it states that, “As a general rule, transfer credit is granted for courses of the same type (liberal arts and sciences), on the same level, and taught under the same general guidelines as University of Mary Washington courses.”
However, this general rule seems only to apply when it is most convenient. If any real legwork is required to qualify or disqualify the classes, it seems that it is no longer their responsibility, but the responsibility of the incoming student.
Let me qualify this by saying UMW has done an exemplary job working with local community colleges in transferring credits as “Major” requirement qualified. They do have an appeal process for the classes that were deemed “elective” or simply were disqualified from being counted as a transferrable course.
When asked how her course transfers went, Sarah Perrin, a transfer student from West Virginia University, said, “Most of it transferred as electives rather than what I took it as at WVU.”
If a student would like to appeal the credit decision, then they must fill out a page-long form and write a short essay of how it applies to UMW’s course guidelines. In addition, a syllabus for the disputed course needs to be provided.
The transfer students do not just lose credits, but money. Out-of-state students, who are also the more likely ones to have issues with credit transferring, pay upwards of $9,000 per semester.
Each credit decision is an expensive decision. Is it unfair to expect a school to do some legwork for students who could be paying close to $20,000 for annual tuition?
There is no question that some credits do not meet the qualifications for transfer. However, it seems that the status quo is to accept as little transfer credits as possible.
It would be a bigger incentive if the school did a little more work during the appeal process. Then, maybe more students would transfer into a new opportunity, rather than into more loan debt.
Photo Credit: Marie Sicola/Bullet