Connecting the Student Transfer Path

A large population of America’s students are transfer students, making it imperative that institutions have plans in place to support these learners. In the state of Kentucky specifically, transfer success is essential to their education goals. For every 500 Kentucky students who enroll in a transfer pathway, only 63 will complete a bachelor’s degree within 4 years of transferring from a community college.

There are several benefits to transferring, the most prominent being saving money. However, many also do it to make more money in the future. This is because students who complete a bachelor’s degree after receiving an associate degree have higher incomes than those who did not transfer. In Kentucky specifically, ten years after obtaining a degree, those with a bachelor’s degree earn nearly $30,000 more than those with an associates degree.

Currently, too few transfer-aspiring students reach their goal of a bachelor’s degree. It takes time, effort, and money to complete a bachelor’s degree, emphasizing why supporting transfer students should be a top priority. Students currently face many obstacles when transferring, making the transfer path very important.

Transfer success is an equity issue as well, as white students are twice as likely to transfer as Black and Hispanic students. However, the future is bright, as many students are meeting milestones that will build their momentum moving forward in the transfer process on their journey to receiving a bachelor’s degree. 
The bottom line? Connecting the path from community colleges to universities is vital to transfer student success. It is imperative to focus on student needs, prioritize institutional collaboration, and remove as many obstacles as possible. With these efforts, the transfer process can become seamless and achievable.

Transfer success
Source: Kentucky Student Success Collaborative

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