Creating Momentum for Transfer Students

Community college is a cheaper and more accessible alternative to the traditional four-year college experience for many students. People who enroll in community college are not only able to work towards an associate’s degree, but are also able to transfer to a university to obtain a bachelor’s degree. This can be a very promising path, as bachelor’s degrees have been proven to yield a $540k national lifetime earnings premium over associate’s degrees. 

Unfortunately, many students struggle to achieve their ultimate goal of transferring to a university within an optimal time frame. Kentucky’s data shows that out of 500 students that enroll in a transfer pathway, only 63 students will obtain a bachelor’s degree within 4 years of transferring. There is a lot of racial disparity as well- black and Hispanic students are even less likely to transfer than their white counterparts. 

Community colleges and universities will have to come together to deconstruct the barriers facing many students. Strategies include clearly mapping out transfer pathways and major requirements for students. Academic advisors will also have a significant role to play for students, by decreasing informational barriers and increasing on time graduation rates by over 20%. Through these efforts, students are sure to be successful in their academic journey. 

Transfer success
Source: Kentucky Student Success Collaborative