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Four things to consider before taking classes at another school

January 7, 2021

Most college programs are designed so you can take all the necessary classes to graduate within four years.

However, you may find yourself needing or just wanting to take a class at another institution. For example, you may be attending an undergraduate program at a college or university but can't take a class you need due to scheduling or enrollment limitations.

That's when many students consider taking a class at another institution, such as a community college or an online program, and then transferring that credit into their undergraduate program.

Before enrolling in that class at another institution, students need to consider the following:

  • Are you sure you can't take the class at your main institution? Talk to an academic advisor at the institution in which you are enrolled and make sure that you can possibly take the class there before looking at other institutions. It will be much simpler to take the class at that institution rather than trying to enroll in a second institution.
  • Will the credit transfer? The class will need to meet the requirements of your main institution. Your advisor should be able to determine if the class credits will be accepted as a part of your program's graduation requirements.
  • How will you pay for the class? If you receive any financial aid at your main institution, it won't apply to any outside classes. For example, a scholarship may only be applicable at your main institution and can't be transferred to another school. Understand that you may have to pay the entire cost of the class out of pocket.
  • Can you manage a class at a second institution? Remember that a different institution will have their own set of policies and requirements. If you have a problem with the class, know how to request help. If the class is online, be sure that you manage your time well and stay engaged.

If managed well, taking classes at another institution can offer many benefits and enable you to graduate on time with all the classes and credits you need.