Student Participation – “Opting-In”

Each student must elect—or “opt in”—to participate in reverse transfer in order for their university to be able to share transcripts backwards with the student’s former community college(s). Students must give their consent to their university to share transcripts in order to meet FERPA requirements (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act).

Each of the three state universities in Arizona (Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, and the University of Arizona) has invested efforts to elicit as much participation as possible from transfer students by offering opportunities for students to elect to participate on:

  • Their university admissions application,
  • Each university’s reverse transfer website, and
  • Additional outreach (email) campaigns.

Students may first elect to participate in reverse transfer by agreeing to do so on the dedicated question pertaining to reverse transfer located on each university’s admissions application. If a student misses the question or changes their mind wanting to participate later, students may visit their university’s reverse transfer webpage and complete the opt-in process. To additionally encourage student participation, each university performs intermittent email campaigns to transfer students, encouraging them to opt-in for reverse transfer if they have not done so yet.

Arizona Advantages

Arizona is benefited by several advantages to aid in the growth of reverse transfer. Arizona benefits from economies of scale, home to three large state universities and multiple large community college districts. Arizona is also a highly articulated state, through the significant state-wide collaboration efforts of AZ Transfer. Finally, Arizona benefits from the creation and adherence to the Shared Unique Number (SUN) System, a special bank of common courses, with common course numbers state wide.

Catalog Year

As most reverse transfer graduates are being awarded transfer degrees (Associate in Arts, Associate in Science, etc), degree requirements changes far less frequently than occupational (Associate in Applied Science) degrees. Additionally, most reverse transfer eligible students persist in their attendance from their community college to their university with minimal interruption, maintaining the ability to be graduated under their admitted-or-more-recent catalog requirements. Students who stop attending for three consecutive semesters or more must be readmitted to their community college in order to graduate, and thus fall under the most current academic catalog. Thus whenever possible, it is recommended that students are graduated under the most current academic catalog year.


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