New report underscores the vital role of college credit transfer policies in maximizing the benefits of dual enrollment programs for students and taxpayers.
Contact: Enrique A. Chaurand
Washington, DC — Today All4Ed has released an insightful report entitled – “Giving Credit Where Credit is Due” – on the importance of college credit transfer policies for dual enrollment programs. Dual enrollment offers high school students the opportunity to access college courses while saving on college costs, but the effectiveness of these programs hinges on the successful transfer of credits to their intended degree programs.
Jazmin Flores Peña, co-author of the report and All4Ed Policy Analyst, emphasized the importance of credit transfer policies, saying, “Evidence demonstrates the power of dual enrollment to increase postsecondary enrollment and completion. But it has an Achilles heel: credit transfer.”
The report underscores that the benefits of dual enrollment are twofold. Firstly, students save money by reducing their “time to degree,” completing some required college courses and earning college credits while still in high school. Additionally, these courses often cost less than traditional college classes, making higher education more affordable. However, the realization of these benefits relies on the existence of policies and practices that ensure the seamless transfer of credits.
The Government Accountability Office estimates that a significant 43% of credits are lost during transfer. The loss of hard-earned credits can delay degree completion and increase the overall cost of postsecondary education.
Credit transfer policies are essential for ensuring that public investments in dual enrollment programs fulfill their intended purpose of increasing degree attainment. “This is particularly vital as 80% of good-paying jobs require at least some college education, emphasizing that education beyond high school is a necessity, not a luxury,” said Phillip Lovell, co-author of the report and Associate Executive Director of All4Ed.
Despite this imperative, postsecondary completion rates remain distressingly low. In 2020, the six-year graduation rate from four-year colleges was only 64%, and just 34% of community college students earned a credential within three years. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated these challenges, disproportionately affecting systemically disadvantaged students, including Black students, Latinx students, and students from low-income families.
The report outlines four types of credit transfer policies that state policymakers should consider implementing to ensure students and taxpayers fully benefit from dual enrollment programs along with examples of successful state policies for policymakers to draw inspiration from with comprehensive recommendations.
All4Ed would like to thank the Joyce Foundation for their generous support in providing funding for this pivotal report. For more information and to access the full report, please visit all4ed.org/publication/giving-credit-where-credit-is-due/