Do Transfer Students Succeed in College?

Do transfer students do well in college?

I hear this question a lot from parents who are stressed about the high cost  of a bachelor’s degree. They naturally wonder if starting at a cheaper community college and then transferring is a smart move.

The transfer student question is also relevant for teenagers who begin at four-year universities and then end up transferring to other colleges. About one in five students who start at a university end up transferring someplace else.

A new study from the National Survey of Student Engagement suggests that transfer students from community colleges don’t fare as well when they transfer. These transfer students are less likely to participate in such important campus activities as internships, studying abroad, doing research with a professor and taking part in a senior seminar.

Transfer students who came from other four-year institution became more involved than the community college transfers, but they too lagged behind the students who began at the institutions. Alexander C. McCormick, the director of the NSSE survey, suggested that many students transferring from other four-year schools were probably not doing well at their initial institutions.

Despite the survey results, some students attend community colleges.  On its site, the College Board has posted six reasons why high school students might want to start at a community college.

The big challenge that transfer students face is having their credits transfer. Here is a cheat sheet that should help boost your chances of keeping those credits.

Further Reading:

Transferring to a Different School

Getting a Community College Scholarship

Leaving Free Cash on the Table

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