Reverse Transfer Frequently Asked Questions

What is Tennessee Reverse Transfer?

The Tennessee Reverse Transfer Program is a process that allows transfer students who are currently attending a four-year school to combine four-year college credits with community college credits to receive an associate degree.

Approximately 2,300 students transfer each year from Tennessee’s community colleges to four-year colleges and universities with at least 45 of the 60 credits required for most associate degrees. Estimates indicate that about 1,300 of those students may be eligible for an associate degree by reverse transfer while they are completing their bachelor’s degree.

Tennessee Reverse Transfer is part of a larger statewide initiative called “Drive to 55”, which is focused on increasing the number of Tennesseans with post-secondary credentials. It is a joint venture of the University of Tennessee System (UT), Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR), Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association (TICUA), and Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) that is making it possible for students who transfer from Tennessee community colleges to four-year institutions to receive an associate degree when requirements are met in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree.

Reverse Transfer benefits students and institutions in the following ways:

  • An associate degree can enhance a student’s resume and may promote employment and advancement opportunities for them while they are completing their bachelor’s degree—and it’s completely free to the student!
  • Early instances of reverse transfer suggest there may be a higher rate of completion of the bachelor’s degree as a result of a student completing an associate degree.
  • Investment in Reverse Transfer shows a commitment to student success.
  • Increase statewide degree completion as part of the “Drive to 55” initiative.
  • Increase the number of transfer students at four-year institutions who receive their associate degree.
  • Raise awareness of the Reverse Transfer Program among eligible students.
  • Highlight the opportunities available through the Reverse Transfer Program through college advisors.

Reverse Transfer happens twice a year in two cycles: Fall and Spring.
To be eligible to participate in the Tennessee Reverse Transfer Program, students must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • Be a transfer student currently enrolled in a participating four-year institution
  • Have a minimum of 15 Tennessee community college credits
  • Have a minimum of 60 combined college credits

Students that meet these eligibility requirements will receive an email toward the beginning of each cycle inviting them to consent to the degree audit process. It’s a quick and easy process, and is completely free for the student. Students who meet the criteria for a degree will be notified by their former community college.

  • Distribute the news release to your school newspaper and student radio station.
  • Include promotion in student e-newsletters and campus-wide email communications.
  • Announce Reverse Transfer on your institution’s home web page and include the link:
  • Post notices about Reverse Transfer on your digital signage during opt-in time each cycle.
  • Share messages about Reverse Transfer on social media.
  • Include information about Reverse Transfer on your transfer student admissions website.
  • Include the Reverse Transfer deadline to opt-in on your Learning Management System with a link to the website:
  • Include information in Parent’s Association e-newsletters.

If you have a RTS account, access the Help Library and refer to the User Guides and other resources to find the answer to your question. You can also go to the “Contact Us” section on this website to submit an email to RTS Administrators, who will then contact you shortly.