WASHINGTON, D.C. - This week, U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter (CO-07) cosponsored the Reverse Transfer Efficiency Act of 2017 to help expand opportunity for community college transfer students. Through the “reverse transfer” process, students who transferred from a community college to a four-year-institution but haven’t completed a bachelor’s degree can apply those additional credits toward an associate’s degree.
It’s estimated that about 30% of students who have transferred from a community college to a four-year institution drop out before completing their bachelor’s degree. However, many of these students have earned enough credits between both institutions to be awarded an associate’s degree. Between 2003 and 2013, nearly two million transfer students who were eligible for an associate’s degree were not awarded diplomas. And research shows that individuals with an associate’s degree earn approximately $400,000 more than a person with a high school diploma over their working life.
“This legislation will help identify students who have earned enough credits to be awarded an associate’s degree and therefore expand opportunity in terms of achieving their career goals or increasing their earning potential,” said Rep. Perlmutter.
Specifically, the bill would permit the disclosure of students’ postsecondary coursework and credit information to an institution the student was previously enrolled at only for the purpose of applying such coursework and credits toward completion of a recognized postsecondary credential. The bill stipulates that the student must provide written consent prior to receiving such credential.
The bill has received support from numerous national and state education groups, including the University of Colorado, Colorado State University, Front Range Community College, and the Colo. Dept. of Higher Education.