colleges that don’t require high school transcripts for transfer

Prospective students looking for online colleges that do not require high school transcripts or a high school diploma should use the term Ability-to-Benefit (ATB) in their online search for institutions. Colleges that offer ATB admissions use alternative admissions standards that benefit people without a high school diploma or GED, or their global equivalents. Students admitted using ATB standards are typically part of a pathway or bridge program that helps the student complete high school or GED requirements before becoming degree-seeking college students. Community colleges that offer online course programs may be the best place to start looking for local online college programs that offer ATB admissions.

While ATB students may be ineligible for federal financial aid until they have earned degree-seeking student status, students can enroll in college classes as a non-degree seeking status student and should speak with an admissions counselor about course options available for them.

1. Bellevue University (Bellevue, NE)

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Bellevue has two programs–an on campus program and an online program–that have 100 percent acceptance rates. Prospective students must fill out an application and prove that they have a high school diploma or GED. Foreign students must supply TOEFL scores.

2. Golden Gate University (San Francisco, CA)

Admission requirements at Golden Gate University are determined by the faculty. Students are reviewed individually and are asked to submit transcripts along with test scores and an optional personal statement. Students who have a high school GPA of at least 3.0 or a community college GPA of 2.0 are preferred, though any student can be accepted conditionally with the approval of the appropriate academic department.

3. Pikeville College (Pikeville, KY)

Applying to Pikeville is easy. All the college asks is that you submit a signed application along with your transcripts and ACT or SAT scores. A personal interview is recommended, though it is not required.

4. Weber State University (Ogden, UT)

Students from nearly every state in the U.S. and 45 other countries are accepted to Weber State University each year. Every student that applies is considered for merit-based scholarships. Prior transcripts are a must and test scores may also be required.

5. Shawnee State University (Portsmouth, OH)

Students receive unconditional acceptance at Shawnee State University if they complete an application and submit their high school transcripts. Students who do not have a high school diploma must have a GED or minimum results on the ACT or SAT.

6. West Virginia University (Parkersburg, WV)

To get into West Virginia University, students need a high school diploma or a GED. Prospective students are also asked to submit transcripts and SAT or ACT scores. Standards for West Virginia’s general program are not rigorous. However, there are some premier programs at the university, such as the College of Business and Economics, which require a minimum GPA and above-average test scores.

7. Concordia College (Selma, AL)

Concordia is the only black Lutheran college in North America. To gain acceptance, students must fill out an application, pay a $10 fee and submit transcripts. International students need health insurance and evidence that they understand the English language.

8. Gratz College (Melrose Park, PA)

Gratz College is the first transdenominational Jewish college in the United States. Prospective students need to fill out an application and write a personal statement to gain admission to the school’s undergraduate program.

9. University of Maryland – University College (Adelphi, MD)

Applying to the undergraduate program at the University of Maryland University College is fast and easy. The school does not require transcripts or test scores from most students. However, they do ask that students have either a high school diploma or a GED.

10. City University (Seattle, WA)

Applying to the City University of Seattle is a cinch. The school only asks that you fill out an application and submit transcripts. International students must submit proof of English proficiency (if applicable.)

11. University of Texas – Brownsville (Brownsville, TX)

Getting accepted into the University of Texas – Brownville couldn’t be any easier. Prospective students have to pass the GED test OR secure a high school diploma OR be 18 years of age OR transfer from another college OR register in the adult and continuing education program. Prospective students can also seek entry under Texas’ ‘academic fresh start’ statute.

12. Wayne State College (Wayne, NE)

Students who are interested in Wayne State College are asked to fill out an online application. WSC also asks for transcripts, ACT scores and an application fee. International students have a special application that needs to be filled out.

13. CUNY – College of Staten Island (Staten Island, NY)

Gaining admission to the College of Staten Island is a breeze if you have a high school diploma or a GED. Although the school does ask for SAT scores and an academic average, they do have a 100 percent acceptance rate.

14. CUNY – Medgar Evers College (Brooklyn, NY)

Students who have a GED score of 2250 or a C average are accepted into the Medgar Evers College baccalaureate degree program; students who do not meet those requirements are accepted into the associate degree program. All freshmen must take a skills assessment test to ensure they are placed in the appropriate classes.

15. National University (La Jolla, CA)

Students who wish to attend the National University in La Jolla, California must submit an application and show that they have a high school diploma or GED. Prospective students who have a high school GPA beneath 2.0 are admitted on probation. Accepted students are asked to complete an evaluation to determine placement in various classes.

16. Baker College of Flint (Flint, MI)

Baker College has what they call a ‘right to try’ admissions policy. The school accepts anyone who has a high school diploma or a GED. Students who don’t meet either of those requirements can still be admitted based on test results. Baker also waives SAT and ACT test scores, which means applicants are not required to take either standardized test to gain admission.

17. Oklahoma Panhandle State University (Goodwell, OK)

Only a few documents are required to gain entry to the Oklahoma Panhandle State University. Students must show an immunization record and be able to prove that they graduated from an accredited high school. Students who score below 19 on the science, math, reading or English areas of the ACT are required to take an entrance exam or remediate through zero-level courses.

18. Mountain State University (Beckley, WV)

Getting accepted to Mountain State University is a sure thing. The school only asks that you fill out an application and supply information about other colleges or programs you have attended. ACT or SAT scores are not required for undergraduate admission.

19. Peirce College (Philadelphia, PA)

Applying to Peirce College takes approximately five minutes. Students can apply at any time and begin college courses within a month’s time. Peirce accepts anyone who has a high school diploma, a GED or a state equivalency diploma. Students who are unable to provide these documents are considered non-matriculated and may enroll for up to 15 credits.

20. Tabor College (Hillsboro, KS)

Tabor College is a ‘decidedly Christian’ school with flexible admission requirements. Student must fill out an application, submit transcripts and supply ACT or SAT scores. All students are evaluated on an individual basis.

21. Wilmington University (New Castle, DE)

Wilmington University has an open admissions policy, which means they admit anyone who is interested in learning. They accept high school graduates, GED holders, home schooled students and students who have the appropriate equivalents. Standardized test scores are accepted, but they are not required for admission. Undergraduate students born after 1957 must also submit immunization records in accordance with Delaware law.

22. Morris College (Sumter, SC)

Morris College admits anyone who has the capacity to do college level work. The school even accepts students who do not have a high school diploma or GED. Students who want to transfer from another school should be in good academic standing.

23. Granite State College (Concord, NH)

Granite State College accepts anyone who shows they have the ability and desire to do college work. Students can prove their capability with a high school diploma, a GED or successful Accuplacer assessments.

24. Utah Valley State College (Orem, UT)

Utah Valley State University is an Open Admissions Opportunity Enrollment University. This means the school believes everyone has the right to an education. Students who apply online are accepted within two business days. Students may be asked to submit transcripts and SAT or ACT scores prior to registration, though the school does make exceptions.

25. Boston Conservatory (Boston, MA)

This performing arts school has strict academic requirements compared to some of the other schools on this list. However, they do have a 100 percent acceptance rate. Students must submit required documents (application, transcripts, etc.) and two letters of recommendation to be considered for admission.

Colleges That Don’t Require High School Transcripts for Transfer

For many community college students, the traditional application process involving high school transcripts may pose a significant obstacle. Fortunately, some colleges, including USC and UCLA, offer transfer applicants an alternative route. They consider only your college academic record and not your high school history. This can be a relief for students who may not have had stellar high school grades or circumstances that prevent them from providing those records.

Transfer Requirements for USC

The University of Southern California (USC) is a prestigious private institution known for its strong programs in various fields, including business, film, and engineering. USC does not require high school transcripts for transfer students, putting the focus squarely on your college academic performance.

To successfully transfer to USC, you will need to meet the following requirements:

  1. A minimum of 30 transferable semester units: Typically, students are expected to have completed at least one year of college courses, which is equivalent to 30 semester units. This coursework should include general education requirements and prerequisites for your intended major.
  2. A strong college GPA: USC’s transfer acceptance is competitive, and a high GPA is crucial. While there is no strict GPA cutoff, competitive transfer applicants often have GPAs in the 3.7-4.0 range. However, the specific GPA requirement can vary depending on the program and major to which you’re applying.
  3. Prerequisite courses: Some majors at USC have specific prerequisites that you must complete before transferring. It’s essential to research your intended major’s requirements and ensure you’ve fulfilled them.
  4. Impressive extracurriculars and essays: USC also considers your extracurricular involvement, leadership experience, and personal essays in the transfer application process. These components can help distinguish you from other applicants.

Transferring to UCLA from Community College

The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) is a highly regarded public institution and part of the prestigious UC system. UCLA has a competitive transfer admissions process, but it also does not require high school transcripts for transfer students.

To transfer to UCLA, you should aim to meet the following requirements:

  1. Completion of the UC Transfer Pathway: This is a set of required courses that are recommended for students transferring from California community colleges. Completing these courses demonstrates your preparedness for the UC system.
  2. A high college GPA: UCLA is known for its selectivity, and while there is no set GPA requirement, a GPA of 3.5 or higher is often recommended for competitive applicants. Keep in mind that some majors may have more stringent GPA expectations.
  3. Personal insight essays: Your essays play a significant role in the application process. UCLA uses these essays to understand your personal story, experiences, and goals. Make sure to craft compelling essays that showcase your uniqueness.

Is USC a Good School?

The University of Southern California is undoubtedly a prestigious and well-regarded institution. It consistently ranks among the top universities in the United States and offers a wide range of strong academic programs. USC is known for its world-class faculty, impressive research opportunities, and its location in Los Angeles, which provides access to numerous internships and job prospects in various industries.

Additionally, USC has a vibrant campus culture, with a strong focus on diversity, community engagement, and extracurricular activities. Its School of Cinematic Arts, Marshall School of Business, and Viterbi School of Engineering are particularly renowned, attracting students from across the globe.

GPA Requirements for Transfer

While GPA requirements for transfer can vary depending on the institution, a general guideline is that the higher your GPA, the better your chances of being accepted. For both USC and UCLA, a GPA of 3.5 or higher is considered competitive, but it’s essential to note that specific programs may have more rigorous GPA requirements. Ultimately, a strong GPA showcases your academic aptitude and dedication to your studies, increasing your chances of successful transfer.


Transferring to prestigious universities like USC and UCLA without the need for high school transcripts is an excellent option for many community college students. To maximize your chances of success, focus on maintaining a high college GPA, completing required coursework, and crafting compelling essays. USC and UCLA both offer outstanding educational experiences, but it’s crucial to choose the one that aligns with your academic and career goals.

Remember that while GPA is essential, it’s not the only factor in the transfer process. Engage in extracurricular activities, demonstrate your commitment, and take the time to prepare a strong application to increase your odds of a successful transfer. Your journey from community college to a top-tier university is an achievable goal with determination and focused effort.

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