The Transfer Friendly College

Becky Morehouse

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Historically, the number of transfer friendly students is astounding: 35% of college graduates will attend three or more colleges and universities before graduating.

The reason for this number is pretty clear. An increasing number of students want to plan their post-secondary career at a less expensive two-year institution to potentially transfer to a four-year college at a later date.

College interest in transfer students is growing. In fact, transfer students bolster the numbers of current and upper-class students. Data suggest that their academic performance is at least equal to, and often better than, students who enter as freshmen.

Though the transfer recruiting numbers have become a bit confused over the last nine months because of COVID-19. We can expect, college interest is likely to increase because of pent-up demand and the transfer market will reassert itself.

We also expect competition for transfer students to increase. Colleges that want to enhance their transfer recruiting strategy and add greater predictability to enrollment of this cohort should consider enhancing their efforts ahead of the demand curve.

Looking at colleges and universities with successful transfer recruiting efforts, we identified some key characteristics that typify a transfer-friendly institution:

  • All communication to transfer students, including the website and social media, is focused on the specific needs and expectations of students
  • Allocate non-loan financial aid dollars specifically to transfer students
  • They have a highly customized campus visit program
  • They have articulation agreements with regional two- and four-year institutions
  • Beyond articulation agreements, these colleges have personal relationships, and partnerships, with guidance counselors and career advisors at key feeder schools
  • They offer quick and accurate transcript evaluations
  • They offer a generous (and timely) acceptance of credits earned at other institutions
  • Create opportunities to “match” transfer prospects with current transfer students—often noted as mentors
  • Have a transfer-focused orientation program
  • Have a cadre of advisors that are qualified, eager, and empowered to serve transfer students
  • Need proven programs in place to help transfer students persist and even graduate.
  • Match inquiring and applying transfer students with faculty mentor in area of academic interest

We have a sophisticated transfer student recruiting inventory that helps pinpoint what’s working and not working in your current transfer recruiting strategy. Reach out to me, Becky Morehouse if interested in more information.

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