50-50 Highlights: Colleges for Transfer Students

Dog with backpackApproximately 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 CategoryStarting at 2-year InstitutionStarting at 4-year institution
Less than $25,00011.7%44.9%
$100,000 or more18.8%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


% Transfer
in Full-time
4/5 yr
Union UniversityTNPrivate22122650
Vermont Technical CollegeVTPublic11432052
The Evergreen State CollegeWAPublic38721852
Indiana Wesleyan UniversityINPrivate98871769
University of Washington-Bothell CampusWAPublic29561757
Rutgers University-CamdenNJPublic38331758
University of New Hampshire at ManchesterNHPublic5861652
The Richard Stockton College of New JerseyNJPublic68201560
Mills CollegeCAPrivate8941452
University of Southern MississippiMSPublic113931450
Maine Maritime AcademyMEPublic9581469
College of Our Lady of the ElmsMAPrivate9341457
The University of Texas at DallasTXPublic95061460
University of North Carolina WilmingtonNCPublic112951366
California Maritime AcademyCAPublic9511352
The College of Saint ScholasticaMNPrivate24641357
Clarke UniversityIAPrivate8291349
Ave Maria UniversityFLPrivate8631361
The New SchoolNYPrivate58771349
Southern New Hampshire UniversityNHPrivate59101355
Western Illinois UniversityILPublic91611250
Cedar Crest CollegePAPrivate7001249
University of Maryland-Baltimore CountyMDPublic93711255
Towson UniversityMDPublic158521261
Rowan UniversityNJPublic92541269
Stevenson UniversityMDPrivate32271249
Rutgers University-NewarkNJPublic62201256
Salisbury UniversityMDPublic73231264
Milligan CollegeTNPrivate8671258
SUNY College of Environmental Science and ForestryNYPublic16611164
Northern Illinois UniversityILPublic144941149
University of Massachusetts-LowellMAPublic87241149
Saint Joseph's College-New YorkNYPrivate38171152
Gwynedd Mercy CollegePAPrivate19931157
Framingham State UniversityMAPublic38041149
Bridgewater State UniversityMAPublic80321150
Arizona State UniversityAZPublic499451152
Elmhurst CollegeILPrivate28641157
DePaul UniversityILPrivate136571151
North Central CollegeILPrivate25601157
SUNY at AlbanyNYPublic120641163
University of North Carolina at GreensboroNCPublic130481149
Illinois State UniversityILPublic171401068
George Mason UniversityVAPublic162651061
Pennsylvania State University-Penn State HarrisburgPAPublic29051057
Eastern Illinois UniversityILPublic79061055
Montclair State UniversityNJPublic123801058
Mary Baldwin CollegeVAPrivate10341049
Missouri State University-SpringfieldMOPublic134651051
Mississippi State UniversityMSPublic150041052
University at BuffaloNYPublic177631065
Adelphi UniversityNYPrivate45251054
Temple UniversityPAPublic243821060
Saint John Fisher CollegeNYPrivate27531064
Belmont UniversityTNPrivate49061055
Seattle UniversityWAPrivate43641062
Eastern Connecticut State UniversityCTPublic44201050
Chatham UniversityPAPrivate6291051
West Chester University of PennsylvaniaPAPublic121331065

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