Community college transfer students also graduate at higher rates than students who transfer from other four-year colleges, according to the report.
More than 35,000 community college students transfer to selective colleges and universities each year and 75 percent of them graduate within six years. About 73 percent of students entering selective universities straight from high school graduate in that time frame, along with 61 percent of students who transfer from another four-year institution.
On average, community college transfer students earn their degree within two and a half years.
Transfer students are an important part of the University of Central Florida.
In fact, in recent years, the institution has welcomed more transfer students in its incoming class than first-year freshmen — and in the process has created what some consider a national model of excellence while increasing access for underrepresented students.
“We’ve always been concerned with the success of every student, but as our numbers started to increase with transfer students, we really started to focus heavily on how we could work with our transfer population to make them as successful as possible,” said Jennifer Sumner, a UCF administrator.
Helping community college students select courses suited to their interests and finding ways to connect classroom lessons with the real world could help more students persist in higher education, according to a new report from the Brookings Institution.
“The key takeaways are that making it easier for students to navigate the college environment and connect their coursework to their lives can improve student outcomes,” noted report author Elizabeth Mann Levesque.
Community college students in California now have even more options when planning their path to a four-year degree.
The Board of Governors that oversees the state’s community colleges approved a plan last month that offers guaranteed admission to students who take specific community college courses geared toward their intended four-year major.
Three-quarters of community college presidents report that their institutions are adding new programs or other options to make it easier for students to transfer to four-year universities, according to a new report from Inside Higher Ed and Gallup.
The additions are an attempt to recruit more students and better serve those already enrolled at two-year institutions, survey data from community college presidents shows.
As college costs continue to increase, community colleges are seeing a rise in the number of upper-middle class students enrolling to save money on their way to a four-year degree.
“This is about social norms,” Sara Goldrick-Rab, a professor of higher education policy and sociology at Temple University (PA), told The New York Times. “More middle-class parents are saying, I’m not succumbing to the idea that the only acceptable education is an expensive one.”
When students transfer, colleges are looking at more than just credit totals. Performance also matters, which is why Stanly Community College (NC) has eliminated D grades.
For course credits to transfer, many four-year colleges require students to have earned at least a C. So even through students with a D grade have technically passed the class, they didn’t perform well enough to have another institution recognize their learning. And in many cases, the low mark also prevents students from meeting the prerequisites needed to take more advanced courses within the same subject.
The Common Application has launched a new application for transfer students, helping meet a growing need for this student population.
More than one-third of all students switch schools sometime during their college career and more than two-thirds of US colleges view transfer students as considerably important in meeting enrollment goals, according to NACAC’s State of College Admission report.
The new Common App for transfer will allow transfer students to provide information about their qualifications for admission in a more targeted and tailored way. For example, it includes a prerequisite coursework feature, allowing applicants can select courses they completed that apply toward prerequisite requirements for particular academic programs.
Nearly one out of every five students who earned a master’s degree last year initially entered higher education through a community college, according to data released this month by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.
In addition, 11 percent of graduates from doctoral-research programs started out at a two-year school.