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Thursday, June 1, 2023

Academics & Research

Students’ saving attempts can backfire

A college career can be costly.

Many students may look for options to save money. Taking courses at two-year colleges before transferring to four-year campuses is frequently believed to be one of the ways, but this method may not be saving as much money as students planned.

“Without running data, I can say that usually about 75 percent of the transfer students come from two-year institutions,” said Susan Moreno, director of UH Institutional Research.

“Other reasons (for attending a two-year college first) could be convenience of location, staying close to home, or not meeting admissions requirements initially.”

Students who start their higher education at a two-year college often end up borrowing more or the same amount of money after they transfer to a four-year institution, according to The Texas Tribune. Despite this, creative writing senior Anthea Rafique said it was worth it to go to Houston Community College first.

“I was able to transfer 21 hours to UH,” Rafique said.

“I went to HCC because it was cheaper and also helped me get my Texas residency established before I enrolled into a four-year university. It did the trick, and my tuition was cut into half.”

Not all credits from other universities may transfer, costing students time and money.

“I went to Houston Baptist University on an academic scholarship before attending Wharton County Junior College,” said English junior Jessica Wilson.

“I transferred a total of 55 hours, but only five or so were from HBU. I chose a two-year over going to UH because of the price and because all the credits would transfer. Their required freshman religion course and freshman year experience only transfer to other religious private schools, which doesn’t include UH.”

Financial burdens stemming from classes to textbooks need to be dealt with, said mechanical engineering junior Edwin Jackson.

“Tuition and the cost of textbooks need to be thoroughly examined to address the financial burden that has beset many young Americans in the pursuit of their dreams,” Jackson said.

While transferring credits has proven to be more economical for some students, money is not always the issue. Occasionally, courses required at two-year colleges are not required or accepted at four-year institutions. State legislators are attempting to remedy this.

House Bills 30 and 82 have been filed by Texas representatives Dan Branch and Ruth Jones McClendon to ease the transfer process. HB 30 clarifies the transfer requirements to students at two-year colleges, so they can determine exactly which courses will transfer.

HB 82 creates a common course numbering system. For example, College Algebra at UH is MATH 1310, but at HCC, College Algebra is MATH 1314. HB 82 would give these courses the same number.

With these bills in place, the future of transferring credits may be brighter.

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