For many community college students, the end goal is not simply an associate degree from their current school, but the ability to transfer to a university and earn a bachelor's degree. However, many community college students are dismayed to discover that the classes they paid for and worked hard in at their community college don't always make the transfer to the next step. To ensure the hard work completed at the community college level does not go by the wayside, we analyze the latest US News and World Report study that discusses the 10 most transfer-friendly universities around the country.
According to the US News and World Report study, more than a half-million community college students transferred into four-year colleges in 2009. There are a variety of reasons why students may choose to take this path to completing their education. Some like the more affordable tuition rates at community colleges and get as many of their credits at these less expensive schools as possible before completing their education at a university. Others find that after earning their associate degree, they want to pursue additional training and education in their field.
No matter what the reason for completing a transfer, students in this situation may discover that universities vary significantly in the amount of transfer students they accept and the resources provided to transfer students. For those who want to join this number in the future, it pays to research the best universities for transfer students, so they can set their sights on those goals. By learning about your transfer prospects at the beginning of the process, you are in a better position to chart a successful course throughout your entire academic year. In fact, some community colleges even have guarantee transfer agreements with pretigious universities.
The Rise in Transfers to For-Profit Institutions
An interesting trend in community college transfers is the increasing number of students that are choosing for-profit schools over state universities. According to a report at NWCN.com, one reason for the change may be due to the fact that state schools are facing severe budget cuts that directly impact how many students they can accept every year. Another possibility is that state universities may be hoping to enroll more out of state students, since tuition rates for these enrollees can be as much as three times what state residents pay.
An article in the Seattle Times voiced concerns about the move of transfer students to for-profit institutions. The report cites statistics that show as many as one quarter of students at for-profit institutions default on student loans within three years of beginning to pay them. This statistic could indicate that these students are paying a lot for a college education that cannot prepare them adequately for a lucrative career out of school. The Seattle Times report stated that the number of students transferring to for-profit institutions went up as much as 37 percent.
Jan Ignash, deputy director of the Higher Education Coordinating Board that prepared this study, told the Times, "I knew the percentage increase in the private sector was going up – I was surprised it was that much." Ignash added, "Our concern is capacity. The students are here – we've been telling them to complete their education, and they're doing it. Now we have to find a place for them."
Where to Go
For students who have set their sights on transferring to a four-year university, US News and World Report has found the 10 institutions with the most transfer acceptances. These colleges were determined after the publication surveyed more than 1,700 colleges to discover transfer policies and requirements, as well as actual enrollment figures. The school at the top of the list, Arizona State University, had the largest number of transfer students by far, with 5,388 enrolled in 2009. Three other schools on the list are located in California, and each boasted transfer student enrollees of around 3,700 for the same year.
Transfer acceptance rates were also a key figure considered by US News and World Report. Arizona State University had a very high acceptance rate for transfer students, at 84.4%. However, one Texas school, the University of Texas at Arlington, boasted an even higher rate at 91.9%. Many of the other schools on the list had transfer acceptance rates that hovered between 50 and 70%. The national average for transfer acceptance rates is currently 61.9% to give readers an idea of how the most transfer-friendly universities compared.
The list of top 10 schools by US News and World Report includes:
- Arizona State University, with 5,388 transfer students
- University of Central Florida, with 5,336 transfer students
- Florida International University, with 4,336 transfer students
- University of North Texas, with 4,012 transfer students
- University of Texas, Arlington, with 3,944 transfer students
- California State University, Fullerton, with 3,800 transfer students
- California State University, Sacramento, with 3,771 transfer students
- California State University, Northridge, with 3,706 transfer students
- University of South Florida, with 3,696 transfer students
- Portland State University, with 3,486 transfer students
All of the numbers listed above were taken from 2009 enrollment figures for each of the universities.
While these are not the only universities that accept a large number of transfer students, these colleges currently boast the largest numbers. If there is another university that you are considering a transfer to after you complete your community college program, it is important to educate yourself about the requirements and the likelihood of transfer prior to sending in your application. A little research goes a long way in plotting out a successful postsecondary academic track to jumpstart a successful career after graduation.