Transfer Students Are Losing Time And Money

Career College Central Summary:

  • A new report released this month by the Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics found that 39 percent of students who transferred colleges at least once lost all of their earned credits in the process.
  • Those students who were unable to transfer a single credit ended up losing, on average, 27 credits. That's more than an entire academic year's worth of work at most schools.
  • Meanwhile, another 28 percent of students lost some credits along the way during the transfer process. For them, about 13 of their credits — or an entire semester's worth of work — didn't transfer.
  • Research suggests that students who lose credits when they transfer are less likely to earn a degree. One study, for example, found that community college students who could transfer almost all — at least 90 percent — of their credits to a four-year institution were two-and-a-half times more likely to graduate than students who could transfer fewer than half of their community-college credits.
  • That's no minor problem: Nearly one in three students transfers colleges at least once within six years of enrolling in school for the first time.
  • A significant proportion of students — 37 percent — take what we think of as the traditional transfer two-year school to four-year school route. But 43 percent also move laterally, from one two-year to another two-year school or from a four-year institution to another four-year school.
  • And more than 16 percent of transfer students were "reverse transfers" — students who moved from a four-year college to a two-year college.
  • For state and federal policymakers, those lost transfer credits translate into lower college attainment rates — and wasted taxpayer dollars, if those students who lose credits during a transfer paid for the credits with Pell or other state grants, student loans, or other federal and state aid.

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