Transfer Process

Many community college students transfer to four-year institutions. Be prepared to make a swift and easy transfer with these articles. Determine the most transfer-friendly universities, learn why some 4-year schools are limiting transfer students, and get tips on ensuring your credits go with you.
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Why Don’t More Community College Students Transfer to Four-Year Schools?
Many students enroll in community college with the intent of transferring to a four-year school. Of those who do, many succeed, and yet traditional colleges and universities continue to overlook them. Read on to learn more about why more community college students don’t transfer schools and to receive some tips for making the transfer yourself.

Nearly six million students are enrolled in community college each year, many with the intent of eventually transferring to a traditional four-year university. That transfer is not without challenges, however, as many schools don’t accept all community college credits and transfer acceptance rates remain fairly low. Those who do make the transfer tend to succeed, however, which begs the question why colleges and universities continue to overlook community college students and why more community college students don’t make the transfer.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the statistics for how many community college students move on to four-year colleges and universities. We’ll also explore the data on how well they perform and provide some tips for community college students thinking about making the transfer.

How Many Community College Students Transfer?

As college tuitions costs continue to rise and more families struggle to make ends meet, the number of students who choose to start their college education at community college continues to grow. Community college appeals to many because the tuition is typically more affordable and other costs can be kept low by living at home versus living on campus. Community colleges also offer more flexible scheduling for non-traditional students including single parents and adults returning to school.

According to an article published by the National Student Clearinghouse, about 80% of entering community college students indicate that they want to earn a bachelor’s degree or higher, making them likely to transfer to a four-year college at some point. However,

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Avoid Losing Community College Credits When Transferring to a University
One out of 10 community college students lose their credits when they transfer to a four-year university. Don't become one of these statistics, and learn how to ensure your hard-earned credits are transferred.
A recent study shows that one out of every ten community college students lose nearly all of their credits upon transferring to a four-year institution. In fact, just 58 percent of students who being their studies at a two-year institution report having more than 90 percent of their credits transferring to a baccalaureate program at a four-year college or university. As a result, a large number of students who dream of obtaining an undergraduate degree never get one because the credits they worked so hard to obtain do not count at their new school.
 
An Uphill Battle
 
Students who begin their post-secondary education at a community college are already less likely to graduate with a bachelor’s degree than their peers who begin study at a four-year institution. This is not to say that community colleges are somehow failing their students, rather, it is most likely life events that curtail a student’s educational aspirations. Family issues, financial difficulties, or changes in job or childcare availability are just a few common issues that force community college students to put their studies on hold. Unfortunately, the already narrow likelihood that a student will get a bachelor’s degree is further diminished when they take a break from school to attend to life’s pressing issues.
Even when students are able to stick with it and collect enough credits to transfer, they often discover that many of their credits will not be counted at their new school.
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Why are Universities Turning to a Reverse Transfer System?
The reverse transfer is growing exponentially in popularity. This is a more and more common new policy among many institutions to allow transfer of credits from four-year universities to community colleges. Why is it done, and who benefits from the policy?
Many community colleges across the country have transfer agreements with four-year schools, which allow students to easily transfer credits from the community college level and apply them toward a four-year degree program. Now, a whole new type of program is cropping up among two and four-year schools from coast to coast. Instead of transferring credits from community colleges to universities, schools are now allowing agreeing to reverse transfers, which allow students to take credits from their four-year institution and apply them to their community college degree.
 

The Reverse Transfer System is Introduced

While transfers to four-year schools provide clear benefits and a subsequent rise in popularity, the assurance of transferring credits from the university level to the local community college creates a more complex array of advantages. This process is a relatively new one that is just beginning to be introduced in college systems nationwide.

Many students who begin their college work at a community college move to a four-year institution before completing their associate degree. While credits may transfer to the four-year school, the student is left without a degree to underscore the work they put into their first college efforts. Until the bachelor’s degree is finished – which may take many more years of education – the student has little to show for his time, effort and money.
 
At the same time, community colleges are forced to report dismal completion rates – in some cases possibly affecting their ability to receive funding. However, many of these students
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University of Minnesota to Limit Transfer Students
A recent decision by the University of Minnesota will limit the number of transfer students it will accept. How will this decision impact community college students in the area?
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In what has been called a major setback for Minnesota community college students, the University of Minnesota has formally announced plans to reduce the number of transfer students to the school. While the university claims that the decrease will be just a “drop in the bucket” in regards to total transfer numbers, students and community college officials are voicing their concerns over the policy change. With community college enrollment increasing nationwide, it is possible that other universities will eye the new University of Minnesota policy with interest as they grapple with their own issues regarding a rising number of transfer students.
 

Pulling Back the Welcome Mat

According to a report at TwinCities.com, the welcome mat has a history of being extended to transfer students at the University of Minnesota. In 2009, the school accepted 3,260 new transfer students, which made up nearly 40 percent of their new student population overall. However, the university plans to cut the number of transfer students they accept by roughly eight percent over the next two years – which will translate to around 300 transfer students. The university cites various reasons for their decision, including their desire to form a solid, four-year relationship with more students coming to the school. The school has also stated that fluctuating transfer numbers from year to year put a strain on university resources.

Another concern from some university officials is the lack of preparedness seen in some transfer students when they enroll at the four-year school. Need for
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University Leaders Report: How to Increase Transfers from Community Colleges
Many students start their academic careers at a community college, hoping to transfer to a four-year university, but find themselves missing the mark. Thankfully, a new report surveying university leaders provides ideas on how to help students make the transfer successfully.
While community colleges offer a wealth of options in associate degree programs and practical career training, the majority of students that grace a community college campus for a period of time are not content with a degree from these schools. In fact, the large majority of community college students has plans to further their education by eventually transferring their credits to a four-year institution. This is the precise subject of the latest report by College Board that looked at the high number of community college students that want to transfer to a four-year university and why.
 
About the Report
 
College Board is a non-profit organization committed to equality in education, from the early primary years all the way through a postsecondary education. This particular report, titled, “Improving Student Transfer from Community Colleges to Four-Year Institutions,” was designed to emphasize the importance of smooth pathways between community colleges and other institutions of higher education. The College Board website estimates that more than 7 million students enrolled in community colleges – up to 41 percent of all college students across the country - at any given time. With so many students enrolled in community colleges, it is important to assess what the choices for these students might be should they decide to continue to pursue their education after their initial degree program is completed.
 
 
To compile this report, College Board interviewed 21 education leaders at 12 institutions of higher education across the country, according to an
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Transfer Process