Postsecondary Pathways of First-Time Students
In our second Signature Report, we analyze students’ transfer behaviors to better understand their postsecondary pathways. A detailed view of transfer rates is critical in helping institutions and policymakers develop strategies and policies that facilitate successful outcomes.
Among the study’s findings:
- One third of all students transferred at least once within five years.
- The majority of transfers occurred in students’ second year, regardless of the direction of transfer (i.e., vertical, lateral or reverse). Although a surprising number of students made their first transfer in the fourth and fifth years.
- Part- and full-time students had similar transfer rates over five years.
- Over one quarter of all transfers crossed state lines, which, among other things, demonstrated the limitations of institution and state-based enrollment reporting.
The complete Signature Report includes detailed transfer summaries and related tables; color charts broken down by institution sector and control, part- and full-time student transfer rates and timing, in- and out-of-state transfers, and insight and future recommendations from the authors.
Suggested Citation: Hossler, D., Shapiro, D., Dundar, A., Ziskin, M., Chen, J., Zerquera, D., & Torres, V. (2012, February). Transfer and mobility: A national view of pre-degree student movement in postsecondary institutions (Signature Report No.2). Herndon, VA: National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.