Tracking transfer trends

October 29, 2018
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GettyImages-880896186 In August the National Student Clearinghouse released their third national Transfer and Mobility report, examining overall transfer patterns of students who began their postsecondary careers in the fall of 2011.

“For the first time, we were able to analyze transfer patterns by race and ethnicity, giving us a more comprehensive look at the ways transfer patterns change for different student populations,” said researcher and coauthor of the report, Faye Huie.

“We were actually quite surprised when we looked at overall transfer patterns among four ethnicity categories--Asian, Black, white and Hispanic,” Huie said. “All groups had similar overall transfer-out rates -- but differences emerged when we looked at starting and destination institutions.”

Here were a few of the interesting findings:
  • For four year starters, Asian and white students were more likely than Black and Hispanic students to summer swirl (take supplemental classes at a two year institution during the summer before returning back to their starting four-year institution).
  • Among students who started at two-year institutions, Asian and white students were more likely to transfer to a four year institution than Black and Hispanic students.
  • About 1 in 5 two-year starters transferred to a four-year institution within six years (21.6 percent) but only 5.6 percent of students did so after receiving a credential. 

“Administrators can use this report as a key benchmarking tool,” Huie said. “Institutions can compare their own numbers against these national numbers to identify areas for improvement and monitor the efficacy of those improvement efforts.”

To learn more, download the report here

Huie will present the findings in her 2018 AACRAO SEM Conference session “Transfer and Mobility: A National View of Student Movement in Postsecondary Institutions.” Join your colleagues at AACRAO SEM for insight into the latest research, implications, and discussion of these and other enrollment trends -- November 11-14 in Washington, D.C.