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What is Reverse Transfer?

The National Student Clearinghouse's Reverse Transfer service is the first national automated solution that enables course and grade data to be transferred from a four- or two-year institution to any two-year institution in order to award associate degrees to eligible students. In Reverse Transfer, the two parties exchanging course and grade data are known as the host institution (the institution where the student is currently enrolled) and degree granting institution or DGI (the institution that will be awarding the degree). A host institution can be either a four- or 2-year institution.

What benefits can my office realize by participating in Reverse Transfer?

Reverse Transfer is the first nationwide service to automate the exchange of course and grade data between institutions. Since 40 percent of transfer students cross state lines, providing a national service facilitates the awarding of associate degrees between institutions located in different states.

What additional benefits can my office realize by participating in Reverse Transfer?
  • Standardized data format to enable efficient course and grade data exchanges with multiple partners.
  • Data validation to clean up host institution data before it is sent to a degree granting institution, thereby addressing the data quality issue that exists between institutional trading partners today.
  • If you are a degree granting institution, you will receive current student contact information to address a common problem with current state-level reverse transfer programs: Mailed degrees that are returned because they were sent to out-of-date student contact information.
  • Host institutions can send all their reverse transfer academic data files to one location, regardless of the location or number of two-year colleges with which they partner.
  • DGIs can download all their reverse transfer academic data files from one location at their convenience, regardless of the number of hosts with which they partner.
Does the degree granting institution need to obtain an official transcript from the host institution before awarding an associate degree to an eligible student?

That decision is up to the institutions exchanging data. Reverse Transfer's course and grade data exchange provides the data directly from the host so it is possible to award the degree without an official transcript. The Clearinghouse, however, is not involved in the DGI's decision to order an official transcript or not.

Does Reverse Transfer comply with FERPA?

Like all Clearinghouse services, Reverse Transfer is designed to facilitate an institution's compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, The Higher Education Act, and other applicable laws.

How is student consent obtained and tracked for Reverse Transfer?

Obtaining and tracking student consent is handled outside of the Clearinghouse's solution by either the host institution or DGI. Host institutions only send course and grade data for eligible students via Reverse Transfer once consent has been obtained.

How do institutions determine that students are eligible for Reverse Transfer?

Eligibility requirements for reverse transfer degrees are handled between the institutions exchanging course and grade data. The host institutions only send course and grade data on eligible students via Reverse Transfer.

Is there a cost to participate?

No, Reverse Transfer is free to collegiate institutions.

How do we sign up?

Submit your information through the contact form on and someone from the Clearinghouse will reach out to get you started.

What does the future hold for Reverse Transfer?

During the second phase of Reverse Transfer's development, course and grade data will be integrated with existing enrollment and degree data to create a nationwide academic record data mart. In addition, students will be able to securely access all of their academic information online directly through the Clearinghouse. More information will be released as details emerge.