Colleges That Accept Transfer Credits with Bad Grades

Need help finding colleges that accept transfer credits with bad grades? If you’re looking for advice on transferring colleges with bad grades, you’re in luck. Many four year colleges and universities often require a minimum GPA of 2.0 and only accept transfer credit for courses with a grade of C or higher.

Find an Online Degree Program

Maybe you started in community college to save money? Or maybe you’re changing your area of study. Perhaps your current school just isn’t a good fit? In fact, there are many reasons students find themselves among the one third of undergrads transferring colleges per the NCES. Although if you earned a low GPA in college so far, your school choices may seem limited.

Fun Fact

Transfer students wanted! According to the National Association for College Admission Counseling, 9 out of 10 four-year schools regard transfer students as considerably or moderately important to their overall enrollment goals.


If you’re looking to transfer to a new school and you have less than impressive grades, there might be options. The steps below could help guide you through the process of transferring colleges with a low GPA. Of course, remember to be mindful of transfer application deadlines!


Determine what went wrong. First, was the academic program not a good fit? Second, did life circumstances impact your school work? Whatever happened, it’s important to identify it now. So that you can make a plan for future academic success.

The admissions office at your prospective school may want to see a detailed plan for how you will overcome the obstacles that plagued you at your last school. With this in mind, do a self assessment.


Research schools that accept transfer students with a low GPA to see what options you have. In order to maximize your chances of finding a school that works for you, be sure to cast a wide net. Also include online schools in your search.

Were your previous college credits were earned a while back? And are you currently in the workforce? Then online schools may be a great option for earning a degree without uprooting your life.


The National Association for College Admission Counseling reports that 81% of colleges have at least one admission officer who works exclusively with possible transfer students. Therefore, contact admissions at your intended schools to work with someone who can help you decide the best course of action for transferring.

Be prepared to share your story and your plan for future success from Step #1!

Benefits of an Admissions Counselor

Some colleges may pair each prospective student with a dedicated re-entry counselor for the purpose of helping make each step of their return to school easier. To clarify, re entry counselors go a step further to help you assess your readiness for college, complete the necessary paperwork, and plan out your academic career.


What do you do if your GPA is brought down by one or two courses with a D or lower? In this case, if you have the time and resources, consider improving your GPA by retaking the courses. As long as the course is retaken for a letter grade (as opposed to Pass/Fail), the higher grade can be substituted for the lower one and improve your GPA.

Some colleges also offer “academic renewal” to students with a bad course or a bad semester. Academic renewal essentially erases the grade for a course (or entire semester). In this case, removing the grades from the GPA calculation and replacing them on official transcripts as “AR.”

Each school is different, and academic renewal is not always possible, so contact your current school and your prospective school to see what it takes to get renewal approved. After all, with a little work you could find a number of colleges that accept transfer credits with bad grades.


Why ask for letters of recommendation from college professors? Because, especially those in your academic area of interest, could help make a good impression on the admissions counselors at your prospective school.

Yes the opinions of faculty who have seen you handle college coursework may be most valuable. However, high school recommendations could be a helpful addition to your admissions package. Especially if you don’t have much college faculty representation.

Don’t forget to always send a thank you note to faculty for taking the time to craft a letter of recommendation!


If your academic work hasn’t been stellar, it may be even more important to round out the rest of your application with worthwhile experience. In summary, work, volunteer service, and other activities during summer and winter breaks may bolster your appeal. In short, find ways to be seen as a potential valuable addition to the student body at your school.


Are you in the first year of college and considering a transfer? Then it is helpful to know that many colleges take high school grades into consideration. Especially if you are transferring with few college credits.

For students with more than a year of college credits, it may be a good idea to stay at your current school until you have earned an associate’s degree. With this option, you ensure that you don’t lose credit for individual courses with D grades. Generally speaking, the credits that make up the associate’s degree will transfer as a block.

If you are still having a hard time getting accepted into an undergraduate degree program, you may have the option of applying as a non-degree seeking candidate. In that case, you can start taking courses appropriate for your major and, after demonstrating that you can good grades in these, try again to gain admission to the college.


When transferring colleges, credit is typically awarded for courses in which you earned a grade of C or better. Thus the grades do not transfer, but credit does. This means that your GPA at your new school does not usually factor in the grades or GPA from your previous school.

If you are hoping not to lose transfer credit for previous courses in which you earned a D grade, one option is to stay long enough to earn an associate’s degree at your current school. Ordinarily when transferring a degree earned, the credits transfer as a block and each course is not evaluated separately for transfer eligibility.


It may seem difficult if you’re looking to transfer colleges with bad grades. However, many schools may understand that sometimes a change of scenery can help you improve your grades. Learn more about how to transfer colleges with bad grades and explore our list schools below for undergraduate degree programs that accept transfer students with some D grades or lower GPAs.


Strayer University


Incoming courses must be equivalent in content and outcomes to courses at Strayer University.

  • Students must have earned a grade of “C” or higher in the course. A grade of “D” or higher will be accepted if the student has earned an associate’s degree at the same institution as the proposed transfer course(s). Must be a minimum of 4.5 quarter hours/3.0 semester hours in length.

Students accepted with specifications may have other requirements.


Strayer University is an accredited institution with a proud history of 130 years in quality education. Most of Strayer’s programs are online; however, they also have a network of campuses around the U.S. where you can get support in person. Strayer university has designed a learning experience that supports you on your journey to success support in person. Strayer university has designed a learning experience that supports you on your journey to success.

Available Programs

  • Bachelor of Science (BS) in Accounting
  • Business Administration Bachelors
  • Bachelor of Applied Science in Management
  • BS in Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Science (BS) in Information Technology


U Mass, Online


UMass Online generally awards transfer credit for courses with a grade of 1.7 (C-) or higher in the course. UMass requests an overall GPA of 2.0, but all former students of UMass Amherst are exempt from the 2.0 GPA requirement.


U Mass Online offers over 150 degrees and certificates from the University of Massachusetts in a convenient online format to busy professionals, lifelong learners, and students worldwide.

Available Programs

  • Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Crime and Justice Studies
  • Bachelor’s in Information Technology: Business Minor
  • BA in Economics
  • Bachelor of Arts (BA) in English
  • Psychology Bachelors of Arts


Colorado State University Global


Colorado State University Global encourages students with less than a 2.30 cumulative GPA on prior college credit to apply for provisional admission with:

  • Written statement of purpose detailing professional goals and future study plans
  • Detailed resume
  • Completion of an online assessment

Once provisionally admitted, undergraduate students must complete six credits and be in good academic standing after their first two trimesters at CSUGlobal.


CSU-Global is an online university offering degree programs designed for working adults, using a virtual classroom designed to provide students with the same learning opportunities offered at brick-and-mortar colleges and universities. CSU-Global students can take advantage of accelerated 8-week courses and monthly starts.

Available Programs

  • Bachelor of Science (BS) in Project Management
  • BS in Organizational Leadership
  • Information Technology Bachelor of Science
  • BS in Human Resource Management
  • Bachelor of Science (BS) in Healthcare Administration and Management


Western Governors University


WGU maintains relationships with many community colleges across the United States. Each transcript will be evaluated on an individual basis. WGU does not list minimum GPA requirements for which credits may transfer.


Western Governors University offers competency based and affordable degree programs. Tuition often averages under $4,000 a term. That is about half the cost of most other online universities. Programs start monthly. There is a $65 application fee that can be waived. Apply free this week!

Available Programs

  • Business Management – B.S.
  • Healthcare Management – B.S. Business
  • Information Technology Management – B.S. Business
  • Health Information Management – B.S.
  • Accounting – B.S.
  • Elementary Education – B.A.
  • Special Education and Elementary Education – B.A.
  • Nursing (RN to BSN online) – B.S.
  • Cybersecurity and Information Assurance – B.S.

© Education Connection 2023. All Rights Reserved.


Sources for school statistics is the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics.

Disclosure: EducationDynamics receives compensation for the featured schools on our websites (see “Sponsored Schools” or “Sponsored Listings” or “Sponsored Results”).  So what does this mean for you? Compensation may impact where the Sponsored Schools appear on our websites, including whether they appear as a match through our education matching services tool, the order in which they appear in a listing, and/or their ranking.  Our websites do not provide, nor are they intended to provide, a comprehensive list of all schools (a) in the United States (b) located in a specific geographic area or (c) that offer a particular program of study.  By providing information or agreeing to be contacted by a Sponsored School, you are in no way obligated to apply to or enroll with the school.

This is an offer for educational opportunities, not an offer for nor a guarantee of employment. Students should consult with a representative from the school they select to learn more about career opportunities in that field. Program outcomes vary according to each institution’s specific program curriculum. Financial aid may be available to those who qualify. The financial aid information on this site is for informational and research purposes only and is not an assurance of financial aid.

1 You must apply for a new loan each school year. This approval percentage is based on students with a Sallie Mae undergraduate loan in the 2018/19 school year who were approved when they returned in 2019/20. It does not include the denied applications of students who were ultimately approved in 2019/20.

2 This promotional benefit is provided at no cost to borrowers with new loans that disburse between May 1, 2021 and April 30, 2022. Borrowers are not eligible to activate the benefit until July 1, 2021. Borrowers who reside in, attend school in, or borrow for a student attending school in Maine are not eligible for this benefit. Chegg Study® offers expert Q&A where students can submit up to 20 questions per month. No cash value. Terms and Conditions apply. Please visit for complete details. This offer expires one year after issuance.

Sponsored Results

Study anywhere. Study any time.

Join the millions earning their degrees online.

7 million undergraduate and graduate students were enrolled in some form of online education in 2019!*