This is a tricky question. A student can transfer whenever they meet the admissions standards of the university. For example - at UofL that is a 21ACT and 2.5GPA OR if they have completed 24 college credit hours with a 2.0 or better.
To complicate matters, different colleges within the university have different standards - a 2.8 for Business, a 2.75 for Engineering plus the completion of Calculus, Chemistry and Physics.
So the bottom line is that the student is responsible for checking the transfer admissions requirements for both the degree and the college.
No. Most four-year colleges only ask for 24 college credit hours before transfer but we encourage Jefferson students to complete the AA or AS before transfer.
Why? Students who complete the AA/AS do better after transfer and are more likely to complete the Bachelors degree and with the new transfer plans they are taking the same classes at a lower price at Jefferson.
Also, some college offer scholarships for student who have completed the AA or AS degree, prior to transferring.
Sometimes it is not in a students best interest to complete the AA/AS especially if specific courses are not offered at Jefferson. Sport Administration is an example. A student can transfer to a four-year and later send a transcript back to Jefferson to be awarded the degree. Research suggests that this additional credential is especially significant for underserved students.
For selective programs like Nursing, Physical Therapy, Architecture etc., students must apply to both the university and the program. Students are responsible for checking the program requirements, deadlines and application process. Encourage them to do this as soon as they arrive at Jefferson and also have them contact the program to which they are applying and talk to a program advisor to get the best information.
Kentucky law says: General Education Transfer Policy (64K PDF) guarantees that if a student completes an associate (AA or AS) degree at a KCTCS college, any Kentucky public university will accept their general education credits as meeting lower-division general education requirements if their KCTCS transcript is certified. Applied Associate Transfer Agreement guarantees that the general education courses students take as part of an applied associate in science (AAS) degree program will transfer and count toward the lower-division general education requirements at the school to which they transfer. This means that if a student completes all of their general education courses or an associates degree in a KCTCS college that all Kentucky public universities must take those classes as the General Education courses for the Bachelors degree.
Caveat! This does not exempt them from any courses required for their major and often those required courses can also double as General education requirement.
Bottom line. The sooner a student knows their major and transfer college, the faster they will graduate with no wasted hours.
Another tricky question. A student can transfer as many credits as they have earned BUT must still have at least the minimal number of residency hours (ex. UofL requires 60 credit hours) at the 300 and 400 level to earn a Bachelors.
The bottom line is that any more than 60 is a waste of time and money so again, a well advised student who has taken classes specific to the degree will be on track to complete in a more timely way.
Community college transfers do as well or in many cases do better than native students and graduate at an equal rate if they transfer with 30+ college credit hours. Most professors at four-year colleges cannot tell who is a transfer student in their class. Research suggests that professors and advisors should encourage students to take the most rigorous classes available to make sure that they are well prepared for the university.