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For-profit colleges, often referred to as diploma mills, often receive a bad reputation in the press, making it hard for a student to justify going to one. Nevertheless, many for-profit colleges, such as the University of Phoenix, have taken great strides to make sure its credits can be transferred to another institution. While it’s important to talk with the admissions department of the college you aspire to transfer to and ask them if your credits will count, most college policies will focus on meeting specific criteria, not hold a bias against an online school.

The Accreditation

When another college looks at your current credits, the first thing they will look at is the accreditation, which is often the largest decisive factor. The University of Phoenix is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, which is part the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and is part of the six major regional accrediting bodies that is recognized and accepted by the United States Department of Education.

This accreditation, according to the official website, covers all physical and online campuses and is recognized by most as the most respected standard of accreditation. Even though the school is regionally accredited, it still doesn’t mean another college will accept your transfer; however, since most state schools accept credits from colleges with this sort of accreditation, it will be likely the credits will transfer.

Accreditation Issues

As of late, the state of for-profit colleges, in general, has faced some scrutiny by the press, questioning the quality of the education. Because of this, the Higher Learning Commission has warned the University of Phoenix is in jeopardy of taking its accreditation away due to matters related to scholarships, research, assessment and governance.

While these are serious allegations and may involve the college losing its accreditation, most schools that have experienced these warnings in the past have been good at approaching these interests and are often taken off probation.

As of right now, the college still holds accreditation; however, if the school were to lose its accreditation, then schools more than likely won’t accept any credits earned.

Specific Program Accreditation

Aside from the regional accreditation, your specific field may decide if your credits will be allowed. When you sign up for a particular program at a state university, these programs will have additional accreditations through specific professional associations. If it does, the credits that transfer into this specific program must be from an institution with equivalent accreditation standards.

For example, if you wanted to transfer your social work credits to another school and it had the Council on Social Work Education accreditation, then there’s a good possibility your credits would have to be accredited by the association as well. This is almost always going to be the case if the program is associated with any certifications or licenses.

As of today, the University of Phoenix has accredited programs in the business industry, counseling, education and nursing, and each of these specialized programs has accreditations from varying organizations.

The Final Answer

When you finish your associate’s degree, you will find many institutions have what’s known as an articulation agreement. These agreements allow you to finish your program at one school, such as a community college, and transfer all of these credits to another school, such as a state university.

The University of Phoenix posts articulation agreements on its website; however, they only list the schools they will allow credits from. The website doesn’t indicate which colleges will have to take its credits, but again, it doesn’t mean another school will accept them.

Determining which college courses will transfer can often be frustrating, and Internet research can only take you so far. The best course of action is to simply talk with a guidance counselor at the institution you’re thinking about attending to receive a definite answer.