Higher Education Research Summer 2015

A Strong Economy through Post-Secondary Education: Transfer Students

From the Center’s recent report, “A Strong Economy through Post-Secondary Education,” here is a quick overview of transfer students:

Transfer Students

            The number of transfer students is growing each year, with the majority transferring from community colleges to four-year institutions. Initiatives such as the Comprehensive Articulation Agreement between the North Carolina Community College System and the University of North Carolina and similar agreements with private institutions exist to facilitate the transfer process. There is also the Reverse Credit Transfer Pilot Program that allows a student to retroactively earn an associate’s degree from a community college while enrolled at a four-year institution after completing the sufficient number of credits.

            Despite these programs that facilitate the transfer process, there are still hurdles for transfer students. For example, many colleges require transfer students to pay a nonrefundable deposit before finding out which credit hours will transfer and how much they would need to pay in order to earn a degree. This lack of transparency both increases cost and time to degree completion but, most detrimentally, creates an additional barrier to degree completion that many cannot overcome. Because transfer students are more likely to be poorer, from minority backgrounds, and first-generation students, these challenges in the transfer process disproportionately affect the most at-risk populations.

Central Piedmont Community College
Central Piedmont Community College


A Strong Economy through Post-Secondary Education

Introduction         Part One         Part Two        Part Three        Part Four

Promising Programs Statewide: Fayetteville State University 

Promising Programs Statewide: Elizabeth City State University

Promising Programs Statewide: College of The Albemarle 

Promising Programs Statewide: Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College

Promising Programs Statewide: Bladen Community College 

Snapshot: Veteran and Military Students

Promising Programs Statewide: UNC-Greensboro

Promising Programs Statewide: Bennett College

Promising Programs Statewide: University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Promising Programs Statewide: University of North Carolina at Pembroke

The N.C. Center for Public Policy Research is grateful to numerous, generous supporters. Major funding for this project is provided by the Lumina Foundation for Education, with additional funding from  the James G. Hanes Memorial Fund, and the Hillsdale Fund.

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