New Texas law aims to make college transfer process easier for students

Requirements for schools should save students money

By Sarah Acosta - Reporter, Jennifer Galvan - Photojournalist

SAN ANTONIO - College can be a big expense, and for transfer students, the cost of education can be even more if they attempt to take their credits to a school that won’t accept them. A new Texas law now requires higher education institutions to be more transparent to make the transfer process better for students.

RELATED: 12 new Texas laws going into effect Sept. 1

Shirlyn Davenport, a senior at the University of Texas at San Antonio, transferred to the university from Northwest Vista College last fall.

“I already had Northwest Vista in there, but you could add another university,” Davenport said.

She said she had a seamless transfer experience, but she knows that is not the case for many students.

“It's a really harsh thing that happens, and it just, it sucks hearing about it,” Davenport said.

She said she didn't lose any credits because of the transfer calculator the university launched last year. 

“It tells you everything about the transfer calculator, and then it has a link to try the transfer calculator,” Davenport said.

The calculator is one of the tools that UTSA says it has in place to make the transfer process easier for students.

The UTSA administration believes it’s a step ahead of a new law that went into effect this summer.

The Texas Legislature passed the law with the goal of making it easier for college students to avoid taking classes that won't transfer. 

“I really do like the fact that they're trying to save us money, time, energy and really make the transition from two-year to four-year college smoother,” Davenport said.

The law requires universities and community colleges to make information about courses more transparent and accessible. One specific requirement is that universities must report any transferable credits to the Texas Legislature and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board no later than March 1 of each year.

Lynn Barnes, with the Strategic Enrollment Department at UTSA, said the law will be an evolving one. He believes the state will be able to determine more definitive ways to prevent students from losing college credit hours.

“What we are trying to do is get in front of that and advise the students early so that they can make the most use of their time and money,” Barnes said.

In addition to the transfer calculator, UTSA has a partnership with the Alamo Colleges District, where UTSA advisors are on each Alamo Colleges campus to help students.

UTSA said it will continue to strengthen its partnerships to abide by the new law.

Copyright 2019 by KSAT - All rights reserved.