Policy Series Reports

Many states offer high school students the opportunity to earn college credit while completing courses toward their high school diplomas. This gives students an advantage to place out of courses they’ve already passed while in high school, but only if the state has a clearly defined articulation agreement in place. If states do not have these agreements in place, it can result in not only lost credit for students, but also time and money spent retaking courses they have already completed.

This issue can also affect community college students attempting to transfer to four-year institutions, especially those earning their associate of applied science (A.A.S.) degree. Without strong articulation agreements in place for credit transfers, four-year institutions may choose not to acknowledge credits earned for courses they do not specifically offer at their institution. Many states have taken measures to protect students from the financial and time penalties of poor credit-transfer policies. Solutions include creating pathways students can access as early as middle school, ensuring students earning their A.A.S. can transfer on to a four-year degree, and better articulating transfer agreements from technical institutes to four-year institutions.

The following states have some of the strongest credit articulation agreements: 

Colorado 
Missouri 
Oklahoma 
Washington

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