What is Credit When It’s Due?

In its simplest form, Credit When It’s Due, also known as reverse awarding of the associate’s degree or reverse transfer, is the process of awarding an associate’s degree to students who begin their education at the community college, transfer to a four year institution, and subsequently complete their associate’s degree requirements while working towards a bachelor’s degree.

What is the benefit of the associate’s degree?

While the benefits of earning and associate’s degree are many, perhaps the biggest benefit for UMBC students of having both an associates and bachelors degree is the increased marketability for competitive jobs and graduate school admission. Employers and graduate schools recognize the more comprehensive set of skills and aptitude that come with a dual degree holder.

Am I eligible?

While the requirements may vary by two-year institution, generally, you must have completed at least 15 credits at the community college and have earned at least 60 total combined credits between your community college and UMBC to be eligible.

How much does it cost?

There is no charge to fill out the form and complete the process. Additionally, there is no charge if you are awarded the degree. There may be some charges associated with participation in commencement activities at the community college, if that option is applicable.

How do I begin the process?

Fill out a Reverse Awarding application here.

What happens when I turn in the completed application?

Your official transcript will be sent at the end of the semester in which you submitted your application, after grades are posted. You will receive an email from the Registrar’s Office confirming that your application has been received and that your information has been forwarded.

How long is the process?

Your graduation audit will be conducted during the community college’s regular graduation review process timeline. Therefore, you may not hear from the community college for a period of time while all graduation applications are being processed. The community college will contact you when the review process is complete.

When will I know if the degree will be awarded?

The community college will notify you directly about your degree status and, if applicable, commencement details.

What if I am not awarded the degree; will there be someone to assist me in completing the remaining requirements of the associate’s degree?

Yes. Contact your previous institution’s registrar to ask about remaining requirements, and then speak with your UMBC advisor to ask how you can most strategically fulfill them. Feel free to reach out to an advisor in the Office for Academic & Pre-Professional Advising at any time if you have any questions about how to do so.

Will I be contacted if there is a problem with my application?

Your application will be processed along with all graduation candidates for that semester at the community college. You may be contacted by the community college once the entire review process is complete, but you may also need to contact them to learn about the status of your application.

Are there additional fees associated with the commencement ceremony?

The community college will contact you directly about commencement and any fees that may be associated with the ceremony.

Does this process impact my financial aid in any way?

No. Participation in Credit When It’s Due, does not impact your UMBC financial aid.

Can the courses taken at UMBC that are applied towards the associate’s degree at my community college also be used to complete the bachelor’s degree requirements at UMBC?

Yes, courses that you take at UMBC can be applied towards your bachelor’s degree even if they are also being used to satisfy your requirements for the associate’s degree.

Which associates degree am I eligible for?

Degree options vary by community college. Some community colleges offer a General Studies Degree while others offer a range of associate degree options. Details regarding specific options can be found on the Credit When It’s Due application form.

Can I take the remaining AA requirements at UMBC or must I return to the community college?

You do not have to return to your community college to complete courses if you can take them at UMBC. We will work with you to find UMBC courses that will transfer back and be accepted by the community college. In some cases it may be to your benefit to complete a course at the community college, however; we will work with you directly to make this decision.

How do I inform the community college which degree I am seeking to earn through the credit when it’s due process?

When submitting your application form you must indicate which degree you are seeking on the form. You may also select to be evaluated for a general studies degree if the degree you are seeking is not feasible.

If I earn my degree through Credit When It’s Due, can I still participate in the commencement ceremony at the community college?

Yes! Earning your degree is a major accomplishment. When you submit the application form you are entered into the graduation term for the community college. The community college will send you information about upcoming commencement ceremonies.

Am I guaranteed an associate’s degree if my university major is the same as the degree offered by my community college?

No. You will be awarded the associates degree if your combined credits satisfy the community college degree requirements, and you meet all community college graduation requirements.