Academic Transfer: A unique path to your bachelor’s degree

Academic Transfer: A unique path to your bachelor’s degree

Brian H. Bulin, Student Reporter

The Academic Transfer program is the alternative way to get more bang for your buck.

With the economy and student loan debt looking as though they are here to stay, finding a better, more efficient way to utilize one’s money (or student loans, like me) is the best way for us students to show the world we’re ready to be responsible.

Total student loan debt in this country is surpassing the trillion-dollar mark as statistics on show, and the less a student can be involved with that mess the better.

Let’s look at the average total tuition cost of a student attending the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for four years to earn a bachelor’s degree.

Attending UNL, completing 120 credit hours ($225.50/credit hour) in four years will run around $27,000. This doesn’t include fees, room and board, transportation or that brand new iMac we just have to have because, I mean, it’s for school.

On the other hand, enrolling in the Academic Transfer program at Southeast Community College and completing 90 credit hours ($61.50/credit hour) in two years (which transfers as 60 credits at UNL) will run around $5,535. Once finished at SCC and having made the big move to finish the final two years at UNL the cost for those two years will be around $13,500. Again, this does not include other expenses like that iMac. Adding those two numbers together, the total comes to $19,035. A savings of $7,965.

What is the difference in diplomas between an Academic Transfer student from SCC to UNL and someone who spent four whole long years at UNL in the same major? Nothing.

As far as any crime scene investigator or forgery expert can tell they are both the same diplomas (with different names of course) from the same university and this applies to any other university you wish to transfer to.

Not only that, a graduate in Academic Transfer and UNL will have not one, but two degrees, an Associate’s and a Bachelor’s.

Furthermore, it could easily be argued that a student seeking a business or economics degree that has taken the cheaper route, graduated, and is sitting in an interview for a prized position would have the upper hand.

Remember that earlier figure of savings, the $7,965?

Well, imagine that in an interview the Academic Transfer student explained that getting the most bang for his or her buck or being as efficient with money as he or she could be was just one goal. Sounds like someone has a mindset for business.

The other goal was attaining experiences from a smaller academic setting, SCC and a larger one, UNL, thus giving the Academic Transfer student a wider variety of interactions with different people and teaching styles.

Finding oneself in the Academic Transfer program has its challenges. One of which being what classes actually transfer? And the other being, how do I know that the classes I take will fulfill a requirement within the major I am planning to take at a particular university?

This is where SCC has multiple resources at a student’s disposal. The counselors and the transfer guides on SCC’s website are a great place to begin. It should be understood that the counselors, although very helpful, can’t know everything about every university and major.

Likewise, the guides found on SCC’s website tend to hold to generalities and mostly recommend the most popular general education courses. So what are we supposed to do?

Instead of spending hours of researching online, emailing counselors and making transfer charts, the best bet is to go to, my personal life blood.

The website offers the easiest and quickest way to see how credits at SCC will transfer into a specific university. After filling in the classes a student has taken (or classes one plans to take), impatience will be restrained with immediate results.

Everything from what requirements will be fulfilled in a chosen major to how many credits a student will still need for that Bachelor’s degree. Students may even find that another university will accept more of their already-completed classes in a particular major than their first choice of university, allowing them to rethink their move.

Even students in a program other than Academic Transfer may find it useful to partake in the Transferology website.

For those students, planning ahead is never a bad thing. Looking to see how one’s general education courses at SCC fit within a major at a university will take away any guesswork should they ever decide to continue their education (nursing and business students, hint, hint)

Maybe a student is currently in Academic Transfer, or maybe he or she is a student considering returning after graduation to get some work experience; in either case, having the option to save some money and keep student loan debt low is never a bad deal, and at SCC, there are plenty of resources within the Academic Transfer Program to help you plan your move to the university of your choice and keep a little of that change in your pocket.