Approximately one-third of all college students transfer between institutions at least once according the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. In tough economic times, many students start at a community college and plan to transfer to complete their four-year degree. Others start may start at more expensive four-year institutions and find that they need to transfer to less expensive institutions.
However, transferring can be a risky business. There is the obvious concern of whether or not all your course work with transfer and be counted towards completion of your degree. Yes, courses can transfer and then only count as electives.
More worrisome is that fact that transfer students generally receive less financial aid than those who start at four-year institutions. Furthermore, according to the Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corporation, they are more likely to receive loans and less likely to receive grants than those who don’t transfer in.
Also, according the Digest of Education Statistics, transfer students have lower graduation rates than those who begin at the four-year institution.
|Income Category||Starting at 2-year Institution||Starting at 4-year institution|
|Less than $25,000||11.7%||44.9%|
|$100,000 or more||18.8%||77.5%|
Given this information, it’s not surprising that colleges and universities with higher transfer-in rates tend to have lower graduation rates. This can be seen among the 50-50 schools.
Among the 59 50-50 colleges that 10% or more transfer students, the graduate rates ranged from 49% to 69%. The 38 schools that had one percent or less transfer students had graduates rates from a low of 50 to 87.
Furthermore, public schools make up over 60% of the group of colleges with the highest percentage of transfer students. Only two public schools are found in the schools with the lowest percentage of transfer students.
This isn’t surprising since students are more likely to transfer to public institutions to begin. Combine this with the fact that they are less likely to receive financial aid, it makes sense that less expensive public schools would have higher percentages of transfer students.
The fact remains that transferring is a reality for many students. One way to identify possible colleges for transfer students is to know which schools have relatively high percentages of transfer-in students and still maintain their 50-50 status. It’s likely that transfer students to these institutions will find more resources targeted to improve the success rate of such students.
The following table shows the 50-50 colleges for transfer students based on the highest percentage of transfer-in students. The four-year graduation rate is used for private colleges and the five-year rate is used for public institutions.
50-50 Colleges with Highest Transfer-in Rates
|4/5 yr |
|Vermont Technical College||VT||Public||1143||20||52|
|The Evergreen State College||WA||Public||3872||18||52|
|Indiana Wesleyan University||IN||Private||9887||17||69|
|University of Washington-Bothell Campus||WA||Public||2956||17||57|
|University of New Hampshire at Manchester||NH||Public||586||16||52|
|The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey||NJ||Public||6820||15||60|
|University of Southern Mississippi||MS||Public||11393||14||50|
|Maine Maritime Academy||ME||Public||958||14||69|
|College of Our Lady of the Elms||MA||Private||934||14||57|
|The University of Texas at Dallas||TX||Public||9506||14||60|
|University of North Carolina Wilmington||NC||Public||11295||13||66|
|California Maritime Academy||CA||Public||951||13||52|
|The College of Saint Scholastica||MN||Private||2464||13||57|
|Ave Maria University||FL||Private||863||13||61|
|The New School||NY||Private||5877||13||49|
|Southern New Hampshire University||NH||Private||5910||13||55|
|Western Illinois University||IL||Public||9161||12||50|
|Cedar Crest College||PA||Private||700||12||49|
|University of Maryland-Baltimore County||MD||Public||9371||12||55|
|SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry||NY||Public||1661||11||64|
|Northern Illinois University||IL||Public||14494||11||49|
|University of Massachusetts-Lowell||MA||Public||8724||11||49|
|Saint Joseph's College-New York||NY||Private||3817||11||52|
|Gwynedd Mercy College||PA||Private||1993||11||57|
|Framingham State University||MA||Public||3804||11||49|
|Bridgewater State University||MA||Public||8032||11||50|
|Arizona State University||AZ||Public||49945||11||52|
|North Central College||IL||Private||2560||11||57|
|SUNY at Albany||NY||Public||12064||11||63|
|University of North Carolina at Greensboro||NC||Public||13048||11||49|
|Illinois State University||IL||Public||17140||10||68|
|George Mason University||VA||Public||16265||10||61|
|Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Harrisburg||PA||Public||2905||10||57|
|Eastern Illinois University||IL||Public||7906||10||55|
|Montclair State University||NJ||Public||12380||10||58|
|Mary Baldwin College||VA||Private||1034||10||49|
|Missouri State University-Springfield||MO||Public||13465||10||51|
|Mississippi State University||MS||Public||15004||10||52|
|University at Buffalo||NY||Public||17763||10||65|
|Saint John Fisher College||NY||Private||2753||10||64|
|Eastern Connecticut State University||CT||Public||4420||10||50|
|West Chester University of Pennsylvania||PA||Public||12133||10||65|