Starting a College Transcript

Implications of Beginning a College Transcript

All students enrolling in college coursework for the first time should understand the implications of beginning a college transcript. Low or failing grades earned while still of high-school age can have a permanent impact on a student's academic future, putting their academic standing and future financial aid eligibility in jeopardy. All students should have a general understanding of the transferability of the college credits earned while in high school.

Academic Standing

CollegeNow students begin their college transcript when they enroll in any Tompkins Cortland credit-bearing course. Students who earn at least 12 credits at Tompkins Cortland must abide by the College's rules of academic standards. Academic standing is based on a student's grade point average (GPA) and the ratio of credits earned to credits attempted. Students who plan to attend Tompkins Cortland Community College after high school can be placed on Academic Probation or Academic Suspension upon beginning a degree program due to a low GPA or low credit ratio from courses taken while in high school.

Visit Tompkins Cortland's Academic Standards webpage for a comprehensive explanation.

Future Financial Aid Eligibility

High school students should be aware that a low GPA, low credit ratio, or taking too many unrequired courses can negatively impact their future financial aid eligibility if they plan to pursue a degree at Tompkins Cortland. Most associate's degrees must be completed within 90 to 95 credits, not including dropped or audited courses.

  • A student's GPA is used in determining eligibility for merit-based scholarships.
  • A student with a low ratio of credits earned to credits attempted may lose federal financial aid eligibility. Dropped courses do not appear on the student's transcript; however, courses a student withdraws from do appear on the transcript and count as "credits attempted." Tompkins Cortland's Academic Requirements for Financial Aid are similar to those in place at most colleges as many standards are mandates for federal aid programs such as Pell Grant, Federal Work-Study, and Perkins and Direct Loans.
  • Students planning to attend Tompkins Cortland Community College after high school should seriously consider their career paths when selecting courses to take while still in high school. Accruing too many unrequired credits could negatively impact a student's long-term financial aid eligibility.

Transfer of Credits

The vast majority of colleges and universities - about 90 percent - accept college credit earned in high school. However, most will not accept credit for coursework when the student earned a grade below C.

At Tompkins Cortland, many degree programs require a C or better in major-required courses or those that act as prerequisites for higher-level courses. Learn more about Transferring Your College Credit.