Transfer of Credit

A letter to the Editor of Newsweek from Dr. Albert C. Gray, ACICS Executive Director and CEO, regarding the article "An Education in Student Loans" by David A. Graham, Nov. 20, 2009, Newsweek. 

November 24, 2009

Re: "An Education in Student Loans" by David A. Graham (November 20, 2009)

Dear Editor,

The nation’s public and private colleges have long battled the issue of academic credit transfer. However David Graham ("An Education in Student Loans," 11/20/2009) unfairly paints with a broad brush a phenomenon that is not unique to for-profit institutions by asserting that "most traditional nonprofit schools rarely accept transfer credits from for-profit institutions because of differences in the accreditation process." The reality is that for-profit institutions are variously accredited by national, regional and specialized accreditors, and each type of accreditor evaluates nonprofit as well as for-profit institutions. Moreover, the basis for accepting or rejecting credits in transfer is unique to each receiving institution.

The Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) for accreditation of professional, technical, and occupational career education programs, both of which are involved in trying to ensure better transferability of credit. The Department and CHEA, as well as accreditors of all stripes, strongly discourage institutions from refusing to evaluate a student’s transfer of credit request solely based on the source of accreditation.

As a recognized national accrediting agency whose accredited institutions include for-profit post-secondary schools, ACICS is committed to working together with students, taxpayers, and federal and state officials to lower per-student costs by reducing barriers for academic credit transfer. (See ACICS testimony to U.S. Dept. of Education, 10.8.08, pg. 15:


Albert C. Gray, Ph.D.
Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer
Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools
Washington, D.C.