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REPORT: Signature Report 5

Signature ReportBaccalaureate Attainment: A National View of the Postsecondary Outcomes of Students Who Transfer from Two-Year to Four-Year Institutions


Understanding the Role of Community Colleges in Four-Year Degree Attainment

In our fifth Signature Report, we examine an increasingly important role community colleges play in helping students attain a baccalaureate degree. As our results show, going from a two-year to a four-year institution is a very successful pathway to a bachelor’s degree for those who transfer.

“The report shows that most students who transfer do earn a bachelor’s degree and the data suggest that students who complete a degree at the community college are more likely to earn a bachelor’s degree than the thousands of students who transfer before completing their community college degree,” according to Thomas Bailey, George and Abby O’Neill Professor of Economics of Education and the Director of the Community College Research Center, Teachers College, Columbia University.

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Suggested Citation: Shapiro, D., Dundar, A., Ziskin, M., Chiang, Y. Chen, J., Torres, V., & Harrell, A. (2013, August). Baccalaureate Attainment: A National View of the Postsecondary Outcomes of Students Who Transfer from Two-Year to Four-Year Institutions (Signature Report No. 5). Herndon, VA: National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.


Table of Contents


About This Report


AUTHORS

National Student Clearinghouse Research Center
  • Doug Shapiro
  • Afet Dundar
Project on Academic Success, Indiana University
  • Mary Ziskin
  • Yi-Chen Chiang
  • Jin Chen
  • Autumn Harrell
  • Vasti Torres

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The authors gratefully acknowledge the contributions of Peter Ewell and Patrick Kelly, of the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS), who reviewed an earlier draft of the report in the context of their wealth of knowledge on postsecondary issues. Their comments and suggestions were immensely helpful to the development of this report.

The authors also would like to thank Don Hossler, Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Indiana University Bloomington, for his thoughtful comments and suggestions; Diana Gillum, Vijaya Sampath, Jason DeWitt, and Travis Maciejewski from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, for their efforts to make the Clearinghouse data analysis-ready and sharing their deep knowledge of the data with the authors; and the members of the Project on Academic Success team, Eunkyoung Park, Sarah Martin and Tomika Ferguson for their efforts and thoughtful comments. Of course, any remaining errors or omissions are solely the responsibility of the authors.

SPONSOR

This report was supported by a grant from the Lumina Foundation.

Lumina Foundation, an Indianapolis-based private foundation, is committed to enrolling and graduating more students from college — especially 21st century students: low-income students, students of color, first-generation students and adult learners. Lumina’s goal is to increase the percentage of Americans who hold high-quality degrees and credentials to 60 percent by 2025. Lumina pursues this goal in three ways: by identifying and supporting effective practice, through public policy advocacy, and by using our communications and convening power to build public will for change. For more information, log on to www.luminafoundation.org.


Executive Summary


Understanding the pathways and college completion outcomes of students who transfer from two-year to four-year institutions is of high importance to the national college completion agenda. This importance stems from priorities set for both equity and policy effectiveness. While the college completion agenda encompasses postsecondary credentials very broadly and supports degree attainment from two-year institutions, four-year baccalaureate attainment remains critical to student aspirations, institutional performance and national goals. Moreover, strong equity implications lie in the outcomes of two-year to four-year transfer students because of the overrepresentation of low-income students and students of color in two-year institutions.

In this new report from the Signature series, the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, in partnership with the Indiana University Project on Academic Success, presents findings on two- to four-year transfer students, focusing on their baccalaureate completion within six years after transfer. The report examines baccalaureate completion and persistence outcomes for students who transferred with and without completing a two-year credential. Completion and persistence outcomes are also reported by:

  • Gender,
  • Enrollment intensity,
  • Transfer institution type,
  • Length of pretransfer enrollment at a two-year institution, and
  • Time lapse between two- and four-year institution enrollments.

In an additional new direction, the report also offers results by the Carnegie classification of the transfer institution. Finally, a special analysis provides a side-by-side comparison of the eight- and nine-year completion rates of transfer students to those of students who started at a four-year institution. A few of the main points that emerged from the study are summarized below.

THE ROLE OF TWO-YEAR INSTITUTIONS IN BACCALAUREATE ATTAINMENT

While questions certainly remain about equitable access to a bachelor’s degree for students who enter two-year institutions, the report’s findings provide evidence that the majority of students who transfer are successful in pursuing a four-year degree — demonstrating the key role two-year institutions can play in increasing the number of students who graduate with bachelor’s degrees. Our analysis showed that of those students who transferred, about 62 percent earned a bachelor’s degree or higher within six years after transfer. Another eight percent were still enrolled and making steady progress toward baccalaureate attainment. Students who transferred with a two-year degree or certificate had a much higher baccalaureate completion rate than those who transferred without a two-year credential (72 percent and 56 percent, respectively). The gap in six-year baccalaureate completion rates was likewise large (26 percentage points) between students who transferred to a four-year institution within one year of their most recent enrollment at a two-year institution and students who transferred after a stop-out that lasted more than one year.

Baccalaureate Attainment by Type of Four-Year Transfer Destination Institution

Analysis of the four-year transfer destination institutions showed that students who transferred to a four-year public institution had the highest baccalaureate completion rate (65 percent) six years after transfer, followed by those who transferred to a four-year private nonprofit institution (60 percent), and those who transferred to a four-year private for-profit institution (35 percent). The higher completion rate at four-year public institutions may be related to the number of credits students were able to transfer from two-year institutions because of articulation agreements in place in many states. It could also be related to partnerships between four-year public institutions and community colleges that may likewise smooth the transition for transfer students.

Baccalaureate Attainment by Carnegie Classification of Four-Year Transfer Destination Institution

The majority of two-year to four-year transfer students in this cohort went to a Master’s (50 percent) or Research/Doctoral Granting (40 percent) institution. Students who transferred to a Research/Doctoral Granting institution had the highest completion rate (69 percent), followed by those who transferred to Baccalaureate Arts and Sciences Institutions (60 percent) and to Master’s institutions (59 percent). These differences may be due to the generally better academic preparation of students who transfer to Research/Doctoral Granting institutions. The higher rates may also be partially attributable to the resources these institutions make available to transfer students (e.g., transfer student orientation programs and other support services).

BACCALAUREATE ATTAINMENT AMONG TWO-YEAR AND FOUR-YEAR STARTERS

The comparison of the eight-year completion rate of students who began at a two-year institution and transferred to a four-year institution to that of students who began at a four-year institution revealed a higher completion rate for transfer students. The eight-year bachelor’s degree completion rate for two-year starter transfer students was 71 percent, which was six percentage points higher than that of four-year starters. However, disaggregating the results by institution type showed that only at four-year public institutions did students who transferred in from a two-year institution have a higher eight-year completion rate than their peers who started at the four-year institution (74 percent and 63 percent, respectively). Students who transferred to four-year private nonprofit institutions and private for-profit institutions had lower completion rates (68 percent and 31 percent, respectively) than those who started in four-year private nonprofit and private for-profit institutions (71 percent and 42 percent, respectively).

It is important to note that the two-year starter transfer cohort in this comparison is a selected group. These students started at a two-year institution in fall 2003 and transferred to a four-year institution sometime in the 2005-2006 academic year, suggesting that many of them were on a steady track toward completion without periods of stop-out. Students who stopped out, never transferred, or transferred after more than two years were excluded by definition. Many may have had particularly defined goals set on the baccalaureate level, and are likely to have taken fewer developmental courses as a group than a general cohort of two-year starters. Nevertheless, these patterns further reinforce a main finding of this report: once students transfer successfully, they complete degrees and persist at a relatively high rate. The eight- and nine-year outcomes reported also suggest that, for students who transfer from two-year to four-year institutions, completion rates measured over six years from the time of entry into postsecondary education are likely not an accurate representation of eventual baccalaureate attainment.

IMPLICATIONS FOR POLICYMAKING

Institutional Policy Implications

This report shows that some particular pathways of transfer students may be associated with barriers to baccalaureate attainment. Two-year institutions may want to make students aware of the potential relationship between the empirical milestones explored in this report and baccalaureate attainment, to help them take steps to alleviate possible negative effects of choosing a particular pathway. In this era of accountability, when certificate or degree completion has become a key metric for institutional effectiveness, community college policymakers may want to seek out institutional policy levers for increasing the proportion of students who complete their degree before transferring, and who transfer immediately upon completing. On the other hand, students who do not seek a degree or certificate from a two-year institution before transferring may benefit from more careful guidance on how to plan and monitor their course taking so as to complete more courses that will count towards bachelor’s degree requirements upon transfer.

These findings may also give four-year institutions a better understanding of the pretransfer experience of the transfer students they serve and the kind of differentiated support they need. For example, those who had a longer stop-out before enrolling in a four-year institution may need more assistance because they are transitioning not only into a four-year institution, but also back to postsecondary education in general.

Public Policy Implications

The findings have important implications for public policymaking as well. The results reinforce the importance of the transfer function of community colleges not only in contributing to individuals’ success in postsecondary education, but also in helping to achieve the national goals for college completion. The findings also suggest areas where policymaking should be focused. For example, given that two-thirds of the transfer students in this cohort transferred without the benefit of a two-year credential, policymaking may want to focus on making it easier for students to align coursework with anticipated bachelor’s degree requirements and transfer more credit hours. State and federal policymakers should also consider creating incentives for students to complete degrees at the two-year institution before transferring, and to avoid stopping out for extended periods in between the enrollments in the two-year and the four-year institution.

In closing, while barriers to access and success still exist, the report underscores a point that often is lost in current public policy debates on postsecondary student success: the majority of students who transfer from two- to four-year institutions are successful. This finding further supports efforts to enable improved access to two- to four-year transfers and encourages national calls for state policies and institutional practices that support more community college students who aspire to this pathway.


Introduction


BACCALAUREATE ATTAINMENT OF TRANSFER STUDENTS AS KEY TO COLLEGE COMPLETION AGENDA, STRATIFICATION AND EQUITY

Understanding the pathways and college completion outcomes of students who transfer from two-year to four-year institutions is of high importance to the national college completion agenda. This importance stems from priorities set for both equity and policy effectiveness.

The question of baccalaureate attainment is prevalent in the ways institutions, policy makers, and students think about the role and function of community colleges. This expectation bears out, for example, in the expectations of students enrolling in two-year institutions (Doyle, 2009). More than 42% of U.S. college students enrolled in Fall 2012 were enrolled in two-year public institutions (AACC, 2012). NCES studies and other research using national data show that over one-third of these students reported plans to transfer to a four-year college or university (Horn & Nevill, 2006). Among entering student cohorts, students report expectations of pursuing bachelor’s degrees at an even higher rate of 70 percent (Bailey et al., 2006). Questions of the reliability of self-reports notwithstanding, it is important to consider transfer from two- to four-year institutions as a pathway that is important to the college completion agenda and to hundreds of thousands of students nationwide (Goldrick-Rab, 2012).

Institutions, as well as researchers and policymakers, have called for more differentiated examinations of completion outcomes of students who enroll first in community colleges (Baldwin, Bensimon, Dowd & Kleiman, 2011; Bragg & Durham, 2012; Doyle, 2009; Mullin, 2011; Offenstein & Schulock, 2009). This need is seen by policy makers and researchers as important for questions of both institutional effectiveness and equity (Bragg & Durham, 2012; Offenstein & Schulock, 2009). The college completion agenda encompasses postsecondary credentials very broadly. Nevertheless, baccalaureate attainment remains important for national economic competitiveness and the economic well-being of individuals as the wage premium for a bachelor’s degree is greater than that for a two-year credential. Moreover, recent research has shown that the two- to four-year transfer students’ completion outcomes have clear implications for equity (Bound, Lovenheim & Turner, 2009; Bowen, Chingos, & McPherson, 2009; Doyle, 2009; Goldrick-Rab, 2010). As highlighted in recent explorations of the “supply-side” contributions to low graduation rates, the increasing stratification of postsecondary enrollments has profound ramifications for equity and for the college attainment of the disproportionate numbers of low-income students and students of color concentrated in institutions, such as community colleges, that face tightening constraints on resources (Bound, Lovenheim, & Turner, 2009; Bowen, Chingos, & McPherson, 2009; Goldrick-Rab, 2010; Goldrick-Rab & Pfeffer, 2009; Melguizo & Dowd, 2009). Jenkins and Weiss (2011) have shown, further, that low-income students were more likely to enter into concentrations and enrollment patterns that were associated with lower completion outcomes. Goldrick-Rab (2010) gathers evidence from a comprehensive review of studies to conclude that institutional differentiation and stratified enrollment patterns in themselves represent a “prime barrier to degree completion” (p. 445).

With weighty implications for policy and practice, equity and effectiveness, and college completion overall, two- to four-year transfer student success is an important area for new research. Building a more accurate and comprehensive view of these students’ enrollment patterns and completion outcomes is a necessary step toward achieving pressing policy goals and social principles. The Clearinghouse data presented in this report is our attempt to contribute to filling this gap.

PREVIOUS RESEARCH ON COMPLETION OF TWO- TO FOUR-YEAR TRANSFER STUDENTS

Current scholarship and policy reports note that the scarcity of data sources capable of linking student-level data across institutions and states has meant that an extensive research record has yet to emerge to shed light on the baccalaureate attainment of students who enter community colleges (Bailey, Leinbach & Jenkins, 2006; Goldrick-Rab, 2010; Horn & Radwin, 2012; Mullin, 2011). Nevertheless, a number of key studies have shown that while questions about equitable access to bachelor’s degrees for students who enter two-year institutions may remain (Bound & Turner, 2010; Goldrick-Rab, 2010), students who transfer from two- to four-year institutions show high baccalaureate attainment rates (Bowen, Chingos, & McPherson, 2009; Doyle, 2006, 2009; Hoachlander, Sikora & Horn, 2003; Lavin & Hyllegard, 1996; Melguizo & Dowd, 2009).

In an analysis using Beginning Postsecondary Students (BPS) data, Hoachlander, Sikora, and Horn (2003) found that about 29 percent of all first-time community college students transferred to a four-year institution within six years. While the study’s results may reflect problematic patterns in terms of access to four-year institutions (the 29 percent who transferred, for example, represented only about one-half of the students who had reported an intention to pursue a bachelor’s degree), Hoachlander and colleagues’ research showed that once students transferred successfully, high proportions of them completed a degree. The authors found that about 8 in 10 of these transfer students either had completed a bachelor’s degree or were still enrolled at a four-year institution at the end of six years.

Previous studies further highlight important questions and dimensions that should be explored in emerging work on this area. Accounting for students’ intentions in describing enrollment and success outcomes, for example, raises complex questions for measurement (Bragg & Durham, 2012). Because students’ intended degrees have been shown to change after entering college, several studies point to the need to use empirical milestones instead of relying solely on self-reported intentions (Calcagno, Crosta, Bailey, & Jenkins, 2006; Goldrick-Rab, 2010; Moore, Shulock & Offenstein, 2009; Offenstein & Shulock, 2009). This report seeks to contribute to the exploration of empirical milestones, such as pretransfer degree-completion, length of enrollment in the two-year sector, and stop-out before enrollment in four-year institutions as a way to extend our understanding of students’ two-year to four-year college transfer pathways.

Previous research also shows that gender, age, and enrollment intensity are all associated with students’ two- to four-year transfer pathways, and in ways that are complex and interrelated. For example, Jacobs and King (2002) conducted a study of these patterns and found that part-time enrollment, associated with older students’ increased likelihood of working full-time and having children or other dependents, was a stronger factor than age in lower completion rates.

NEW DIRECTIONS IN REPORTING COMPLETIONS OF TWO- TO FOUR-YEAR TRANSFER STUDENTS

National higher education policy discussions are increasingly focused on expanding the scope and improving the accuracy of national measures of college completion. These efforts center in part on better capturing the complex pathways of students who enroll in multiple postsecondary institutions on the way to completing degrees (e.g., Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance, 2008, 2012; U.S. Department of Education, 2011, 2012).

As we refine our definitions of postsecondary student success, new analyses on the baccalaureate attainment of two- to four-year transfer students in particular are needed. As this report illustrates, the Clearinghouse data can inform institutions and policymakers on this issue by allowing researchers to follow students as they move from institution to institution. In addition, the Clearinghouse data provide a longitudinal view of expanded student cohorts (e.g., traditional-age students vs. adult learners; full-time vs. part-time) that are at the center of proposed changes emerging from the debate on measuring college completion in the U.S. Clearinghouse data also allow researchers to describe student pathways in more detail and complexity, including transfer patterns, persistence, and certificate or degree completion regardless of level, and at any institution, not just the institution of first enrollment.

WHAT TO FIND IN THIS REPORT

To reach a more comprehensive understanding of current progress toward national completion goals, the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, in partnership with the Project on Academic Success, has launched the Signature Report Series, highlighting new data on pressing policy issues. In this report we present our findings on two- to four-year transfer students1 focusing on baccalaureate completion within six years of transfer as the primary outcome of interest. Baccalaureate completion rates are also presented separately for those who transferred with and without prior completion of a two-year credential. In addition, we examine completion and persistence outcomes broken out meaningfully by transfer institution type, time spent enrolled at a two-year institution, and time lapse between two- and four-year institution enrollments. We further explore results disaggregated by gender and enrollment intensity. In an additional new direction, the report also offers results by the Carnegie classification of the transfer institution. Finally, a special analysis provides a side-by-side comparison of eight- and nine-year completion rates of transfer students and students who started at a four-year institution.

1 Throughout this report we mostly use “transfer from two-year to four-year institutions.” It should be noted, however, that the vast majority (99 percent) of transfer students in this study transferred from two-year public institutions.

Coming Up in the Next Signature Report

The Clearinghouse’s sixth Signature Report will focus on college completions, examining completion rates by gender, age, and enrollment intensity. Completion rates will also be reported for students starting at different types of institutions, including whether the students finished at the same institution or somewhere else.

A NOTE ON THE DATA

Data Source

The data for this report were drawn from the StudentTrackerSM and DegreeVerifySM services, administered by the National Student Clearinghouse® (The Clearinghouse), which tracks 95 percent of college enrollments nationwide across all postsecondary institutions, including all institution types — two-year and four-year institutions, public and private institutions, and nonprofit and for-profit institutions. In order to ensure the most accurate possible representation of student outcomes for the study cohort, the results reported here are weighted according to formulas described in Appendix A using the coverage rate for each institution type (sector and control). A complete explanation of national coverage rates and the weights used to ensure that results reflect enrollment and completion by sector and control can be found in Appendices A and B.

The student outcomes captured in this report are based on student-level data representing an unduplicated headcount of students across all institutions, a feature of the Clearinghouse data that distinguishes them from many other data sources, including the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), that may not accurately capture the complexity of postsecondary pathways because other data sources are not structured to identify multiple enrollments by individual students. The capability of StudentTracker to link enrollment records across institutions nationally allows researchers to follow students longitudinally as they move from institution to institution, producing a fuller picture of college persistence and completion.

The results summarized in this report give a national overview of two- to four-year transfer students’ baccalaureate completion, showing the percentage of transfer students who completed at various types of four-year institutions. This completion rate includes bachelor’s degrees and higher completed at four-year institutions. About one percent of students in the cohort completed an associate’s degree at a four-year institution. These completions were not included in the figures reported under “four-year degree completions.” Although Clearinghouse data contain demographic information on students, the coverage for these data is uneven. The report, therefore, includes exploratory analyses broken out by gender, based on reported and imputed values, but does not examine completion by race/ethnicity. (Discussion of imputation process is included in Appendix A.)

Cohort Definition

The cohort examined in this study is made up of transfer students who started their postsecondary education at a two-year institution and transferred to a four-year institution at some point during the 2005-2006 academic year. Two- to four-year transfer status was established by confirming that a student fulfilled all of the following conditions:

  1. Enrolled in a four-year Title IV institution for the first time during the 2005-2006 academic year(i.e. no prior enrollment or completion at a four-year institution);
  2. Had at least one enrollment at a two-year college within the four years prior to the first enrollment at a four-year institution (“prior two-year enrollment”);
  3. Was age 18 or older when enrolled at the two-year institution; and
  4. Had at least one non-summer enrollment at a four-year institution.

Throughout this report, we examine college completion rates for the academic year 2005-2006 two- to four-year transfer cohort. The study follows this cohort through August 12, 2012, and highlights six-year student outcomes, including completion of a bachelor’s degree or higher and continuing enrollment (persistence) after transfer to the four-year sector. Completions were identified using a combination of degree award records submitted by institutions, as part of their participation in DegreeVerify, and StudentTracker enrollment records indicating degree completions.

Figure A. 2005–2006 Transfer Cohort: Four-Year Transfer Destination Institutions*

*This figure is based on data shown in Appendix C, Table A.

Figure A shows the 2005-2006 transfer cohort (N=320,911) broken out by type of starting institution. The largest percentage of the transfer cohort (72.5 percent, n=232,542) transferred to four-year public institutions, followed by four-year private nonprofit institutions, with 19.7 percent (n=63,162), and four-year private for-profit institutions, enrolling 7.8 percent (n=25,171) of the cohort. It should be noted that these unadjusted figures may reflect different levels of participation in Clearinghouse data by institution type (coverage bias). In 2005-2006, Clearinghouse participants represented 95 percent of enrollments in public four-year institutions, and 85 percent of private nonprofit four-year enrollment. In contrast, four-year private for-profit institutions had a participation rate representing 67 percent of enrollments in 2005-2006.

Figure B. 2005–2006 Transfer Cohort: Four-Year Transfer Destination Institutions, Adjusted for Coverage*

*This figure is based on data shown in Appendix C, Table B.

Figure B shows the distribution of the transfer cohort by institution type of the transfer destination, adjusting for these coverage differences. Because this adjustment only minimally affects overall results for postsecondary and baccalaureate outcomes, and does not affect results by sector at all, results highlighted in the report are weighted for coverage bias related to outcomes but not for initial transfer destination.

Figure C. 2005–2006 Transfer Cohort: Distribution by Enrollment Intensity*

*This figure is based on data shown in Appendix C, Table C.

Figure C shows the distribution of the study cohort by enrollment intensity. A key point to note here is that more than half of the cohort (54.7 percent) had mixed enrollment; that is, during the study period, they enrolled full time for some terms and part time for other terms (see Appendix A for further detail). More than one-third (37 percent) of the students in the transfer cohort enrolled exclusively full time after transfer, while just 8.4 percent enrolled part time throughout the study period.


Results


OUTCOMES SIX YEARS AFTER TRANSFER

The results presented in this report explore the six-year outcomes of transfer students who began their postsecondary education at a two-year institution and later transferred to a four-year institution during the 2005-2006 academic year. Throughout the sections that follow, the report focuses on completion of bachelor’s degrees or higher at four-year institutions as the primary outcome of interest. The near-census student enrollment data available from the National Student Clearinghouse enable researchers to track student postsecondary pathways across institutions, sectors, and state lines. Using Clearinghouse data, we present a national picture of baccalaureate attainment by two- to four-year transfer students. We further explore postsecondary outcomes for students by attainment of a pretransfer two-year degree or certificate, by length of pretransfer enrollment in two-year colleges, and by stop-out before transferring. In a new direction within the Signature Report series, these results are also explored by gender and Carnegie Classification of transfer destination institution. Overall results for the 2005-2006 transfer cohort are presented first. Subsequent sections present results for students who transferred into four-year public institutions, four-year private nonprofit institutions, and four-year private for-profit institutions.

A supplemental feature presents an analysis of the eight- and nine-year baccalaureate completion rates of first-time students who began their postsecondary education at a four-year institution in fall 2003. The results are provided alongside the outcomes of students who began at a two-year institution in fall 2003 and transferred to a four-year institution during the 2005-2006 academic year.

*This figure is based on data shown in Appendix C, Table 1.

**This completion rate includes bachelor’s degrees and higher completed at four-year institutions. About 1% of students in the cohort completed an associate’s degree at a four-year institution. These completions were not included in the four-year degree completions shown here.

 

Figure 1 shows the six-year postsecondary outcomes for the 2005–2006 transfer cohort, indicating a baccalaureate completion rate of 61.6 percent. When students who were still enrolled at four-year colleges and universities at the end of the study period are considered, an additional 7.8 percent can be seen as persisting toward bachelor’s degree completion. While a small percentage returned to a two-year institution after transferring to a four-year institution, a little more than one quarter of the transfer cohort had stopped out of postsecondary education without any completion at the end of the six-year study period.

*This figure is based on data shown in Appendix C, Table 2.

**Results for students with gender unknown are not included in the figure.

 

Figure 2 shows six-year baccalaureate outcomes for the 2005–2006 transfer cohort by gender. The results show similar rates for both women and men for baccalaureate completion and persistence in the four-year sector.

Female students completed degrees from four-year institutions at a rate slightly higher than that of male students (62.4 and 60.6 percent, respectively). In addition, similar percentages of women (7.9 percent) and men (7.5 percent) were still enrolled in the four-year sector at the end of the study period.

Among the transfer cohort, approximately 70 percent of both women and men either completed a four-year degree or were still enrolled at a four-year institution at the end of the study period. The consistency of results across gender underscore the finding that once students successfully transfer from two- to four-year institutions, they perform well as a group on important academic success measures such as completion and persistence. These results further highlight just one of many avenues in which two-year colleges contribute to student success and provide important resources for students’ varied pathways through postsecondary education.

Across the three categories of enrollment intensity that we examined, the differences we found in baccalaureate completion rates reflect the intuitive pattern whereby part-time students are less likely to complete a bachelor’s degree within six years than are students who enroll full time for some or all of their terms (see Figure 3).

Students who enrolled exclusively full time after transfer completed four-year degrees at a much higher rate (80.2 percent) than those who enrolled exclusively part time (24.5 percent) or who had mixed enrollment (55 percent). However, mixed enrollment students completed at more than twice the rate of exclusively part time students. As part-time enrollment naturally implies longer time to degree, the higher completion rates of both exclusively full-time and mixed enrollment students likely reflect broader patterns in those groups of shorter time to degree and more consistent overall progress toward completion.

*This figure is based on data shown in Appendix C, Table 3.

Enrollment intensity is based on enrollments after transfer.

 

Figure 3 shows the six-year baccalaureate outcomes for students with and without a pretransfer two-year degree or certificate. It should be noted that nearly two-thirds of the transfer cohort transferred to a four-year institution without a two-year degree or certificate. This is consistent with our findings from previous Signature Reports, which showed that a majority of transfer students transfer from two- to four-year institutions without any credential.

*This figure is based on data shown in Appendix C, Table 4.

 

As shown in Figure 4, students who completed a two-year degree or certificate prior to transferring to a four-year institution graduated with a bachelor’s degree at a higher rate — more than 15 percentage points higher — than those who did not. These different rates of completion could reflect a pattern of transfer students who have more credit hours or courses aligned with bachelor’s degree requirements completing sooner than transfer students with fewer overall credits or fewer credits counting toward majors. Furthermore, the pattern may reflect, the smoothing of pathways via articulation agreements between two-year and four-year institutions since, in light of these agreements, students who complete a two-year degree or certificate at a two-year college may be more likely to have their course of study approved.

*This figure is based on data shown in Appendix C, Table 5.

*This figure is based on data shown in Appendix C, Table 5.

 

Examining these findings a bit deeper, Figures 5.1 and 5.2 show six-year outcomes for the transfer cohort by length of pretransfer enrollment at a two-year institution and whether or not a student obtained a two-year degree or certificate before transferring. Before highlighting these students’ six year baccalaureate outcomes we should note that the distribution of students across subgroups with various lengths of pretransfer enrollment at a two-year institution was very different for those who obtained a two-year degree or certificate, before transferring and those who did not. Among those who transferred without a two-year degree or certificate the proportions of students who enrolled in a two year institution for one to three terms1, four to six terms, or more than six terms were similar. Among those who transferred with a two-year degree or certificate, however, well over half spent more than six terms in the two-year institution (For more details see Appendix C, Table E).

In general, as noted above, baccalaureate completion rates were higher for students who transferred with a two-year credential in hand. Among students who enrolled four to six terms at a community college prior to transferring, for example, those who transferred with a two-year credential completed bachelor’s degrees within six years at a higher rate (75.9 percent) than did students who transferred with no degree or certificate (59.6 percent).

Interestingly, among students with a pretransfer two-year degree or certificate, those who stayed at a two-year institution more than six terms before transferring had a lower four-year degree completion rate (69.9 percent) than those who transferred after four to six terms at a two-year institution (75.9 percent).

By contrast, of students without a pretransfer two-year degree or certificate, those who transferred after more than six terms showed a slightly higher four-year degree attainment rate (61.1 percent) than those who transferred after four to six terms (59.6 percent).

As we note in the introduction, stop-out between enrollments in the two-year and four-year sectors was included as one facet of students’ transfer pathways. Overall results for the transfer cohort on this question are reviewed next.

1 A “term” in this study is any term that an institution reported a given student as enrolled, and can be of various length.

*This figure is based on data shown in Appendix C, Table 6.

 

Students who transferred to a four-year institution within one year of their most recent enrollment at a two-year institution completed a four-year degree at a markedly higher rate than students who transferred after more than one year (66.3 and 40 percent respectively, as shown in Figure 6). Based on these results, it appears that students who moved into the four-year sector with a brief or no stop-out were more successful at maintaining academic momentum and completing a bachelor’s degree than those who transferred after more than a one-year stop-out period. The higher persistence rate among students with a longer delay between their two- and four-year enrollments (12.3 percent versus 6.8 percent for students who transferred within one year) further suggests that students who transfer after more than a one-year stop-out are on a longer timeline for degree completion.

At the end of the study period, slightly more than one in four students who transferred within one year was not enrolled in any four-year institution. In contrast, nearly half of those who experienced longer delays between their enrollments at a two-year institution and a four-year institution were no longer enrolled.

*This figure is based on data shown in Appendix C, Table 7.

**This completion rate includes bachelor’s degrees and higher completed at four-year institutions.

 

Next, we examine the transfer cohort’s baccalaureate outcomes by institution type. As shown in Figure 7, more than 70 percent of the students who transferred to public four-year institutions completed a bachelor’s degree or were still enrolled at the end of the study period (64.8 and 7.1 percent respectively, totaling 71.9 percent).

Compared to students who transferred to four-year public colleges and universities, students who transferred to private nonprofit institutions showed a lower rate of completion (60.2 percent), but a slightly higher rate of persistence without completion at the end of the study (8.0 percent).

The overall baccalaureate completion rate for students who transferred from two-year institutions to four-year private for-profit institutions was lower (35.1 percent) than for other institution types. However, an additional 13.5 percent of these transfer students were still enrolled in the four-year sector in the last year of the study.


STUDENTS WHO TRANSFERRED TO FOUR-YEAR PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS

In this section, we focus on the largest subgroup within the transfer cohort who transferred from two-year institutions to four-year public institutions.

*This figure is based on data shown in Appendix C, Table 8.

**Among those who transferred to four-year public institutions, about 1%percent completed an associate’s degree at a four-year institution. These students were not included in the four-year degree completions shown here.

 

Figure 8 shows the six-year postsecondary outcomes for students who transferred from two-year institutions to four-year public institutions. Four-year public institutions were the transfer destination of the largest subgroup (more than 70 percent) within the transfer cohort. Nearly two thirds of students (64.8 percent) who transferred from two-year colleges to four-year public institutions completed a bachelor’s degree within six years. An additional 7.1 percent were still enrolled in the four-year sector after six years. While a small percentage (3.6 percent) returned to a two-year sector and completed or continued there, 24.5 percent were not enrolled at any institution at the end of the study.

*This figure is based on data shown in Appendix C, Table 9.

Results for students with gender unknown are not included in the figure.

 

Figure 9 focuses further on baccalaureate outcomes by gender of students who transferred from a two-year institution to a four-year public institution. Similar to the overall results outlined in the previous section, the outcomes for students who entered the four-year sector via public institutions were not that different for women and men.

Female students completed degrees in four-year institutions at a rate 2.8 percentage points higher than male students (66.1 compared to 63.3 percent). The rates of continued enrollment in the four-year sector were equal (7.1 percent for both men and women).

*This figure is based on data shown in Appendix C, Table 10.

Enrollment intensity is based on enrollments after transfer.

 

As shown in Figure 10, results for students who transferred to four-year public institutions strongly reflect the pattern shown in the overall results above (see Figure 3). Full-time students in this group completed at a far higher rate (83.6 percent) than did part-time students (24.8) and those with mixed enrollment (62.1 percent). In addition, as in the overall results above, the completion rate for mixed enrollment students was notably higher than that of the part-time students. As noted above, these differences likely reflect the intuitive pattern of mixed enrollment and part-time students pursuing degrees over longer timelines than those who enroll exclusively full-time.

*This figure is based on data shown in Appendix C, Table 11.

 

Figure 11 shows six-year baccalaureate outcomes for students who transferred from a two-year institution to a four-year public institution with and without a two-year degree or certificate.

Students who transferred with a two-year credential completed a four-year degree at a rate 13 points higher than did students who transferred without a degree (73.0 percent and 59.6 percent, respectively).

As noted in connection with overall results above, the higher degree completion rate here could be due to the difference in the average amount of coursework completed before transfer or the greater alignment of the pretransfer coursework to the four-year degree’s major requirements.

Students who transferred from a two- to a four-year public institution with a two-year degree or certificate also had a lower rate of non-enrollment than their peers who transferred without a two-year credential. Nearly one in three students who transferred without a credential were not enrolled at the end of the study; the corresponding rate among students who transferred with a credential was only 21.8 percent.

*This figure is based on data shown in Appendix C, Table 12.

*This figure is based on data shown in Appendix C, Table 12.

 

Figures 12.1 and 12.2 show six-year outcomes for students who transferred to a four-year public institution with and without a two-year degree or certificate by length of pretransfer enrollment at the two-year institution.

In general, four-year degree attainment rates were higher for students who transferred with a two-year credential, echoing the results for the transfer cohort overall.

Regardless of the length of pretransfer enrollment, however, four-year degree completion rates were higher for students who transferred to a four-year public institution compared to the overall transfer cohort (see Figure 1).

For students who transferred with a two-year credential, those who transferred after four to six terms had a higher four-year degree attainment rate (77.2 percent) than those who transferred after more than six terms (71.2 percent).

In contrast, among students without a pretransfer two-year credential, those who transferred after more than six terms showed a slightly higher four-year degree attainment rate (64.3 percent) than those who transferred in four to six terms (63.2 percent).

*This figure is based on data shown in Appendix C, Table 13.

 

As shown in Figure 13, students who transferred to a public four-year institution within one year of their most recent enrollment at a two-year institution completed a bachelor’s degree at a substantially higher rate than students who took more time between enrolling at a two-year institution and transferring to a four-year institution.

Combining the results of this group for completion and persistence, three quarters of the students (74.5 percent) who transferred to a public four-year institution within one year of their last two-year enrollment completed a four-year degree within six years (68.1 percent) or were still enrolled at a four-year institution (6.4 percent) at the end of the study period.

Of students who enrolled at a public four-year institution after more than a one-year stop-out, a substantially smaller percentage — 53.7 percent, combining completion (42.1 percent) and persistence (11.6 percent) — completed or were still enrolled after six years.


STUDENTS WHO TRANSFERRED TO FOUR-YEAR PRIVATE NONPROFIT INSTITUTIONS

*This figure is based on data shown in Appendix C, Table 14.

**Among those who transferred to four-year private nonprofit institutions, about 1% completed an associate’s degree at a four-year institution. These students were not included in the four-year degree completions shown here.

 

Next, we explore results for students who transferred from two-year institutions to four-year private nonprofit institutions. Figure 14 highlights the six-year postsecondary outcomes for students in this group.

Nearly 70 percent of students who transferred to private nonprofit four-year colleges and universities completed a bachelor’s degree or were enrolled at a four-year institution at the close of the study period. Of the students transferring to four-year private nonprofit institutions, slightly more than a quarter (27.9 percent) were no longer enrolled at a four-year institution in 2011–2012.

*This figure is based on data shown in Appendix C, Table 15.

Results for students with gender unknown are not included in the figure.

 

Figure 15 shows the six-year baccalaureate outcomes by gender for students who transferred from a two-year institution to a four-year private nonprofit institution. Consistent with the pattern shown in the overall results and in results for students transferring to other institution types, the results here are very similar for men and women.

Female students in this group completed degrees from four-year institutions at a rate 2.6 percentage points higher than male students. Moreover, women and men in this group persisted at almost equal rates. Given the slightly higher rate of completion among women in this group, results also show that women left the four-year sector without completion at a lower rate (30.5 percent) than did men (33.3 percent).

*This figure is based on data shown in Appendix C, Table 16.

Enrollment intensity is based on enrollments after transfer.

 

Baccalaureate outcomes for students who transferred from two-year colleges to four-year private nonprofit institutions (shown in Figure 16) echo the overall results presented earlier in Figure 3. Among students who transferred to private nonprofit institutions, those who enrolled exclusively full time completed at a higher rate (79.0 percent) than those who enrolled part time (31.3 percent) or had mixed enrollment (52.9 percent).

As with the overall results, mixed enrollment students completed at a rate more than 20 percentage points higher than exclusively part-time students. Moreover, a relatively high percentage of mixed enrollment students were still enrolled at the end of the study (17.5 percent), narrowing the gap in combined success measures (completion and persistence) to 10 percentage points. Compared to 80.8 percent of those attending full time, 70.4 percent of mixed enrollment students either completed or were still enrolled at the end of the study. These results suggest that many mixed enrollment students were still progressing toward degrees, albeit on a longer timeline.

*This figure is based on data shown in Appendix C, Table 17.

 

Figure 17 compares six-year baccalaureate outcomes for students who transferred from a two-year to a four-year private nonprofit institution with and without a two-year credential. Similar to the students who transferred to public institutions, students who transferred with a two-year credential completed a four-year degree at a rate nearly 14 percentage points higher than students who transferred without a two-year degree or certificate (69.2 percent and 55.8 percent, respectively).

The higher rate of degree completion might be partly attributable to the amount of coursework completed before entry or a greater alignment of degree requirements after transfer, as noted previously. While the benefits of articulation agreements are less available to students following this pathway than they are to students who transfer to public institutions, some private nonprofit institutions do form agreements and partnerships with community colleges. These would likely be more help to students who followed focused courses of study leading to a two-year degree or certificate before transferring.

Students who transferred from two-year institutions to four-year private nonprofit institutions with a two-year credential also had a lower stop-out rate than their peers without a pretransfer credential. Given the substantial proportion of students still enrolled at four-year colleges and universities in 2011-2012 who transferred to four-year private nonprofit institutions without a two-year credential (8.9 percent), this group stopped out of the four-year sector at a rate only 10 percentage points higher than that of transfer students who came to four-year private nonprofit institutions with a two-year credential. Slightly less than a quarter (24.7 percent) of students who transferred with a credential left the four-year sector by the end of the study, while the rate for those who transferred without a credential was 35.3 percent.

*This figure is based on data shown in Appendix C, Table 18.

*This figure is based on data shown in Appendix C, Table 18.

 

Figures 18.1 and 18.2 further explore the baccalaureate outcomes for students who transferred to a four-year private nonprofit institution both with and without a pretransfer two-year degree or certificate, comparing outcomes in each group by the length of pretransfer enrollment at the two-year institution.

In these results, like those shown above, four-year degree attainment rates were higher for students who transferred with a two-year credential than it was for those who transferred without one.

Among students transferring with a two-year credential, those who made the move after four to six terms in the two-year sector had a higher four-year degree attainment rate (73.2 percent) than did those who transferred after more than six terms (67.7 percent).

Among students without a pretransfer two-year credential, those who transferred after four to six terms (59.1 percent) showed a four-year degree completion rate only slightly higher than that of students who transferred after more than six terms (57.9 percent). Among the group transferring to four-year private nonprofit institutions without a two-year credential, the length of enrollment in the two-year sector seemed to be associated with more moderate differences in completion rates, compared with overall results and the results for students transferring to four-year public institutions.

*This figure is based on data shown in Appendix C, Table 19.

 

As shown in Figure 19, students who enrolled at a four-year private nonprofit institution within one year of their most recent enrollment at a two-year college completed bachelor’s degrees at a rate more than 20 percentage points higher than that of students who transferred more than one year after their last enrollment at a two-year institution. While the outcome differences between students who enrolled sooner versus later in the four-year sector are smaller for students transferring to four-year private nonprofit institutions (compared to the differences in the overall cohort results), the differences are nevertheless notable.

For institutions and policymakers, one of this finding’s implications is that it may be beneficial to encourage students to maintain academic momentum even as they change institutions. Just as important, however, these patterns indicate that many students are on a longer-term timeline toward degree completion. Policy and practice should, therefore, remain alert to this complexity and take it into account when supporting long-term student success.


STUDENTS WHO TRANSFERRED TO FOUR-YEAR PRIVATE FOR-PROFIT INSTITUTIONS

*This figure is based on data shown in Appendix C, Table 20.

**Among those who transferred to four-year private for-profit institutions, about 4% completed an associate’s degree at a four-year institution. These students were not included in the four-year degree completions shown here.

 

In the following section, we turn to results for students who transferred from two-year institutions to four-year private for-profit institutions. Figure 20 shows six-year postsecondary outcomes for students who transferred from two-year institutions to four-year private for-profit institutions. Among students on this transfer pathway, the four-year completion rate (35.1 percent) is lower than that for students who transferred to four-year public and four-year private nonprofit institutions. In addition, a notable proportion of students (13.5 percent) were still enrolled at four-year institutions at the end of the study. Furthermore, another 8.6 percent of this group returned to the two-year sector and completed a degree or continued enrollment there. However, by the end of the study period, more than 40 percent of students who transferred to four-year private for-profit institutions had left postsecondary education without completion.

*This figure is based on data shown in Appendix C, Table 21.

Results for students with gender unknown are not included in the figure.

 

Consistent with the results for the overall transfer cohort, results for students who transferred to four-year private for-profit institutions were similar across genders, as well (see Figure 21). Women completed four-year degrees and persisted in the four-year sector at a slightly higher rate than men did. Given these small differences, the rate of men leaving the four-year sector was 52.7 percent compared to the lower rate for women in this group (50.4 percent).

*This figure is based on data shown in Appendix C, Table 22.

Enrollment intensity is based on enrollments after transfer.

 

Results by enrollment intensity for students who transferred to private for-profit institutions show, intuitively, that full-time students completed at more than double the rate (57.7 percent) of either part-time students (18.1 percent) or mixed enrollment students (26.5 percent). As illustrated in Figure 22, however, mixed enrollment students in this group had a completion rate close to that of exclusively part-time students. While mixed enrollment students who transferred to four-year public and private nonprofit institutions had distinctly higher completion rates than part-time students, this advantage is not as pronounced among those who transferred to four-year private for-profit institutions.

Nevertheless, nearly one-third of mixed enrollment students were still enrolled at the end of the study, nearly closing the gap between combined completion and persistence for mixed enrollment students (57.3 percent) compared to exclusively full-time students (63.6 percent). Similar to the findings noted above, these results likely reflect the reality that both mixed enrollment and part-time transfer students progress toward degrees on timelines that exceed the six-year window.

*This figure is based on data shown in Appendix C, Table 23.

 

Figure 23 shows the six-year baccalaureate outcomes for students who transferred from a two-year institution to four-year private for-profit institutions, both with and without a two-year degree or certificate.

In these results, as in others highlighted in this report, students who transferred with a two-year credential completed a four-year degree at a higher rate than students who transferred without a degree. However, for students transferring to private for-profit institutions, the difference in baccalaureate completion rates was even more pronounced, compared to that of the overall transfer cohort. Students in this group transferring with a two-year credential completed a four-year degree at a rate 26 percentage points higher than did students in this group who transferred without a two-year credential (55.7 percent and 29.8 percent, respectively).

It is likely that the benefit of maximizing pretransfer credit alignment applies at least as strongly here as elsewhere in the report.

*This figure is based on data shown in Appendix C, Table 24.

*This figure is based on data shown in Appendix C, Table 24.

 

Figures 24.1 and 24.2 examine the six-year baccalaureate outcomes for students who transferred from a two-year institution to a four-year private for-profit institution, comparing those with and without a two-year degree or certificate as well as those who enrolled at a two-year institution for different lengths of time.

Contrary to patterns seen elsewhere in this report, among students who transferred to four-year private for-profit institutions with a two-year credential, the rate of four-year degree completion was nearly identical for students who transferred after four to six terms at a two-year institution to that of students who transferred after more than six terms (57.1 percent and 57.8 percent). However, for these subgroups, baccalaureate completion was markedly higher than that for those on a similar trajectory who spent one to three terms in the two-year sector (42.3 percent).

Differences in completion rates across the subgroups with various pretransfer enrollment lengths at a two-year institution were greater for students who transferred without a two-year degree or certificate.

Students who transferred after more than six terms completed a four-year degree at a distinctly higher rate (40.0 percent) than those who transferred after four to six terms (30.7 percent) and one to three terms (23.6 percent).

*This figure is based on data shown in Appendix C, Table 25.

 

Figure 25 shows the six-year baccalaureate outcomes for students who transferred from a two-year institution to a four-year private for-profit institution by the time between last enrollment at a two-year institution and first post-transfer enrollment. Just under 40 percent of students who transferred to a four-year private for-profit institution within one year of their last two-year enrollment completed a four-year degree within six years. The comparable figure for those with a longer delay before transfer was 31.7 percent.

This pattern (students who transferred within one year of their most recent enrollment at a two-year institution completed a four-year degree at a higher rate than students who took more time between enrolling at a two-year institution and transferring to a four-year institution) is consistent with the results observed for students who transferred to four-year public and four-year private nonprofit institutions. However, the 7.5 percentage point gap in the completion rate of these subgroups is not as large as the ones demonstrated by those who transferred to other types of four-year institutions.

Notably, regardless of time between enrollments in the two- and four-year sectors, more than one in eight students who transferred to a private for-profit institution were still enrolled at a four-year college or university at the end of the study period.


BACCALAUREATE OUTCOMES SIX YEARS AFTER TRANSFER BY CARNEGIE CLASSIFICATION OF TRANSFER DESTINATION INSTITUTION

In this final section of the report, we examine baccalaureate outcomes for the transfer cohort, broken out by the Carnegie classification of the transfer destination institution. In Figures 26.1-3, we present results for the transfer cohort overall and, separately, for women and men.

The results highlighted here show that, regardless of gender, students who transferred from a two-year institution to a research or doctoral-granting institution completed a four-year degree at a distinctly higher rate (68.8 percent for the cohort overall) compared to students who transferred to other types of institutions. For both men and women, and for the cohort overall, those who transferred to a baccalaureate college of arts and sciences had the next highest completion rate (60.4 for the cohort). Students who transferred to a bachelor’s/associate’s institution showed the lowest baccalaureate completion rate, regardless of gender. This is somewhat expected, given the focus of this type of institution, and may to a certain extent reflect a wider range of degree intentions on the part of students taking that particular pathway.

Consistent with results outlined throughout the preceding sections, women had slightly higher four-year completion rates across all types of transfer destination institutions.

*This figure is based on data shown in Appendix C, Table 26.

*This figure is based on data shown in Appendix C, Table 26.

*This figure is based on data shown in Appendix C, Table 26.


SUPPLEMENTAL FEATURE

EIGHT-YEAR BACCALAUREATE OUTCOMES OF STUDENTS WHO BEGAN AT FOUR-YEAR AND TWO-YEAR INSTITUTIONS

This supplemental feature showcases comparisons of eight-year baccalaureate outcomes for two fall 2003 cohorts, highlighting differences and similarities in attainment associated with two- to four-year transfer as opposed to student pathways that begin in the four-year sector.

Two cohorts are included in this analysis. One cohort consists of students who began their postsecondary education in four-year institutions in fall 2003 (the “Fall 2003 Four-Year Entering Cohort”)1. The other cohort consists of students who: (1) started at a two-year institution in fall 2003, and (2) later transferred to a four-year institution at some point in the 2005-2006 academic year (the “2003/2005 Transfer Cohort”).

It is important to note the differences in the size of these two groups. While the four-year entering cohort consists of nearly one million students (n=949,427), the 2003/2005 transfer cohort is about 5 percent of that number (n=49,458). Similar to the overall transfer cohort studied throughout this report, the vast majority (99 percent) of the transfer students included in these analyses transferred from a public two-year institution.

In the discussion below, we first examine eight-year baccalaureate outcomes for two fall 2003 cohorts. Next, we focus the exploration on eight-year outcomes for students in public four-year institutions, a group that represents about three quarters of both cohorts. These results highlight the baccalaureate attainment of students who began in public four-year institutions, and of students who began in two-year colleges in fall 2003 and transferred to four-year public institutions in 2005-2006. Finally, we present results for transfer cohort students who enrolled in four-year public institutions with and without a pre-transfer two-year degree or certificate.

1 In fall 2003, Clearinghouse participants represented 92 percent of enrollments in four-year public institutions, 84 percent of four-year private nonprofit enrollments, and 67 percent of four-year private for-profit enrollments.

 


Table 1. Fall 2003 Cohorts: Eight-Year Baccalaureate Outcomes of Students Who Began at Four-Year Institutions vs. 2005-2006 Two-to Four-Year Transfer Students
Completion at Four-Year Institution Still Enrolled at Four-Year Institution Not Enrolled (At Any Four-Year Institution)
Fall 2003 Four-Year Entering Cohort (n=949,427) 65.0 10.9 24.1
2005-2006 Two- to Four-Year Transfer Cohort:Students Who Began in Fall 2003 (n=49,458) 71.1 7.3 21.6
Transferred With Two-Year Degree or Certificate (n=17,483) 82.1 4.3 13.7
Transferred Without Two-Year Degree or Certificate (n=31,975) 65.1 8.9 26.0

*This figure is based on data shown in Appendix C, Tables S-1, S-3, and S-5.

**By definition, this cohort excludes students who started in two-year institutions in fall 2003 but never transferred or transferred after being enrolled in two-year institutions more than two years.

 

Table 1 shows eight-year baccalaureate outcomes for both cohorts. As shown in this table, students who began in two-year institutions and transferred to four-year institutions completed within eight years at a higher rate (71.1 percent) than those who began in four-year institutions (64.99 percent).

Does this mean that students who begin in two-year institutions complete bachelor’s degrees at a higher rate than those who start at four-year institutions? Of course not. This higher rate of completion, at least in part, reflects the selected nature of the 2003/2005 transfer cohort. By definition, this cohort transferred within two years of starting in two-year institutions and excludes the students who started in two-year institutions in fall 2003 but never transferred, or transferred after being enrolled in two-year institutions more than two years. As a result, we can confidently assume that the transfer cohort in this analysis includes more students following a direct pathway toward a defined goal of obtaining a bachelor’s degree than a general cohort of two-year starters (or even a broader transfer cohort) would. We should also emphasize that examining outcomes for a cohort of students who had already transferred successfully into the four-year sector, does not in any way speak to the barriers to access experienced by community college students. It does however underscore a consistent finding throughout this report, showing that success rates are high among students who transfer to a four-year institution.

Furthermore, as noted throughout the report, a larger proportion of students who transferred to four-year institutions with a two-year credential completed a bachelor’s degree than students who transferred without a degree or certificate.

The following figures compare eight-year outcomes for students from each cohort who enrolled in four-year public institutions.

*This figure is based on data shown in Appendix C, Tables S-1 and S-3.

 

Results shown in Figure S-1 illustrate that the pattern among students at public institutions is similar to that of the overall cohorts. Students who transferred from two-year to four-year public institutions completed at a rate almost 10 percentage points higher than students who began at four-year public institutions. The reverse is true, however, at four-year private non-profit and four-year private for-profit institutions (see Appendix C, Tables S-1 and S-3).

As mentioned above, the higher eight-year completion rate for transfer students at public institutions likely reflects the selected nature of this group. Nevertheless, it also shows that a notable proportion of transfer students are successfully pursuing bachelor’s degrees.

*This figure is based on data shown in Appendix C, Table S-5.

 

Figure S-2 shows eight-year baccalaureate outcomes for students who transferred from a two-year institution to a four-year public institution with and without a two-year degree or certificate.

Students who transferred with a two-year credential completed bachelor’s degrees at a rate 15 percentage points higher than students who transferred without a degree (83.0 percent and 67.8 percent, respectively).

These results further reinforce the findings shown throughout the report in connection with high attainment rates among students who transfer with a two-year degree or certificate in hand.

Less than 13 percent of students who transferred without a credential had left the four-year sector by the end of the eight-year study period. The corresponding rate among students who transferred without a credential was nearly twice as high (23.9 percent).

Full results for students who started in or transferred to private four-year institutions are included in Appendix C, Tables S-1, S-3, and S-5. In addition, nine-year baccalaureate outcomes, showing small increases in degree attainment are included in Appendix C, Tables S-2, S-4, and S-6.


Discussion


While the college completion agenda encompasses postsecondary credentials very broadly and supports the attainment of degrees from two-year institutions, four-year baccalaureate attainment remains critical to the economic competitiveness of the nation and the well-being of individuals. Having a better understanding of the postsecondary pathways and college completion outcomes of students who transfer from two-year to four-year institutions, therefore, is of high importance for addressing questions about institutional effectiveness as well as for obtaining equity in efforts to achieve the national goals. Moreover, strong equity implications lie in the outcomes of two-year to four-year transfer students because of the overrepresentation of low-income students and students of color in two-year institutions.

Seeking a more complete picture of these students’ pathways and outcomes, in this new Signature Report, we followed a cohort of students who transferred from a two-year to a four-year institution over a six-year period, focusing on their baccalaureate completion and persistence outcomes. We also examined how attainment of a pretransfer two-year degree or certificate, the length of pretransfer enrollment at a two-year college, and stop-out before transferring related to outcomes in the four-year sector after transfer. We present our key findings and their implications in the discussion below.

THE ROLE OF TWO-YEAR INSTITUTIONS IN BACCALAUREATE ATTAINMENT

For many students, two-year colleges serve not only as key providers of postsecondary education in general, but also represent the entry point through which to pursue bachelor’s and postgraduate degrees. While questions certainly remain about equitable access to a bachelor’s degree for students who enter two-year institutions, our findings provide evidence that many students who transfer are successful in pursuing a four-year degree — demonstrating the key role two-year institutions can play in increasing the number of students who graduate with bachelor’s degrees. Our analysis showed that of those students who transferred, about 62 percent had a bachelor’s degree or higher within six years and another 8 percent, still enrolled, were making steady progress toward baccalaureate attainment. Differences in attainment by gender were not pronounced among these transfer students, as the completion rate was just one percentage point higher for women than for men (62 percent and 61 percent, respectively).

Students who transferred with a two-year degree or certificate had a much higher baccalaureate completion rate than those who transferred without a two-year credential (72 percent and 56 percent, respectively). While the students who transferred with a two-year degree or certificate likely accumulated more credit hours before transferring than did students who transferred without a two-year credential, their higher completion rate might also mean that their two-year college coursework was better aligned with the majors and bachelor’s degree requirements at their four-year transfer destination institution, enabling them to transfer more credit hours and shorten their time to a bachelor’s degree.

Baccalaureate Attainment by Type of Four-Year Transfer Destination Institution

Analysis of the four-year transfer destination institution by institution type showed that students who transferred to a four-year public institution had the highest baccalaureate completion rate (65 percent) six years after transfer, followed by those who transferred to a four-year private nonprofit institution (60 percent). Those who transferred in the same period to a four-year private for-profit institution had the lowest completion rate (35 percent). The higher completion rate at four-year public institutions may be related to the number of credits students were able to transfer from two-year institutions because of articulation agreements in place in many states. It could also be related to partnerships between four-year public institutions and community colleges that may likewise smooth the transition for transfer students. Because articulation agreements in many states do not include four-year private for-profit institutions, students who transfer to those institutions benefit least from such efforts to align coursework.

Baccalaureate Attainment by Carnegie Classification of Four-Year Transfer Destination Institution

The majority of two-year to four-year transfer students in this cohort went to a Master’s (50 percent) or Research/Doctoral Granting (40 percent) institution. Students who transferred to a Research/Doctoral Granting institution had the highest completion rate (69 percent), followed by those who transferred to Baccalaureate Arts and Sciences Institutions (60 percent) and to Master’s institutions (59 percent). These differences may be due to generally better academic preparation of students who transfer to Research/Doctoral Granting institutions. Nevertheless, the higher rates may also be partially attributable to the resources these institutions make available to transfer students (e.g., transfer student orientation programs and other support services).

BACCALAUREATE ATTAINMENT AMONG TWO-YEAR AND FOUR-YEAR STARTERS

The comparison of eight-year completion rate of students who began at a two-year institution and transferred to a four-year institution to that of students who began at a four-year institution revealed a higher completion rate for transfer students. The eight-year bachelor’s degree completion rate for two-year starter transfer students was 71 percent, which was six percentage points higher than that of four-year starters. However, disaggregating the results by the institution types of the four-year starter and four-year transfer destination institutions showed that only students who transferred to a four-year public institution had a higher eight-year completion rate than their peers who began at a four-year public institution (74 percent and 63 percent, respectively). Students who transferred to four-year private nonprofit institutions and private for-profit institutions had lower completion rates (68 percent and 31 percent, respectively) than those who started in four-year private nonprofit and private for-profit institutions (71 percent and 42 percent, respectively).

It is important to note that the two-year starter transfer cohort in this comparison is a selected group. The students included in this group started at a two-year institution in fall 2003 and transferred to a four-year institution sometime in 2005-2006, suggesting that many of them are on a steady track toward completion without prolonged delay or periods of stop-out, which could also suggest that many may have had particularly defined goals set at the baccalaureate level or may have taken fewer developmental courses as a group. Nevertheless, these patterns further reinforce a main finding of this report: once students transfer successfully, they complete degrees and persist at a relatively high rate. The eight- and nine-year outcomes reported also suggest that completion rates measured over six years from the time of entry into the postsecondary education are likely not an accurate representation of baccalaureate attainment for students who transfer from two-year to four-year institutions. Increases in completion and persistence results both suggest that transfer students are progressing toward degrees along longer timelines and that traditional measures of student success may not capture this progress completely.

LENGTH OF ENROLLMENT IN TWO-YEAR INSTITUTIONS AND BACCALAUREATE ATTAINMENT

In general, baccalaureate attainment rates were higher for students who transferred with a two-year degree or certificate than for students who transferred with no credential, irrespective of the length of time spent in the two-year institution. For example, the completion rate even for those who received their two-year credential in three terms or less (which is more likely to be a certificate than an associate’s degree) was much higher than the rate for those who were enrolled the same length of time in the two-year institution, but who transferred without a credential (62 percent and 49 percent, respectively). The gap in completion rates was even wider among students enrolled four to six terms at a community college prior to transfer (76 percent for transfer students with a two-year degree/certificate and 60 percent for those without a two-year credential), but narrower for those enrolled at a two-year institution for more than six terms before transfer (70 percent and 61 percent, respectively).

The gap is narrower mainly because of a six-percentage-point drop in the completion rate for those with a pretransfer two-year degree or certificate who stayed in a two-year institution longer than six terms. Transfer students who have already spent more than six terms in a two-year institution are likely more sensitive to time-to-degree at the four-year institution. Realizing that attaining a bachelor’s degree may mean many more years in school, these students might decide to use their two-year degree to enter the labor market. On the other hand, for those who spent more than six terms in a two-year institution but still transferred without a credential, the increase in baccalaureate completion rate is very small. For these reasons, a longer stay at a two-year institution before transferring does not lead to improved postsecondary outcomes for either group at the four-year institution, as compared to others on similar pathways who enrolled in two-year institutions for six or fewer terms.

STOP-OUT BETWEEN TWO-YEAR AND FOUR-YEAR ENROLLMENTS AND BACCALAUREATE ATTAINMENT

The gap in the six-year completion rates was large (26 percentage points) between students who transferred to a four-year institution within one year of their most recent enrollment at a two-year institution and students who transferred after a stop-out that lasted more than one year. A higher rate of persistence among students with a longer stop-out between their two- and four-year enrollments (12 percent versus 7 percent for students who transferred within one year) suggests that some of the students in the former group are simply on a longer timeline to degree completion. However, almost half of the students who enrolled at a four-year institution after a longer stop-out were not enrolled at the end of the study period (as opposed to 27 percent of those who transferred within one year of their most recent enrollment at a two-year institution). This suggests, overall, a negative relationship between a longer stop-out before transfer and baccalaureate attainment.

IMPLICATIONS FOR POLICYMAKING

To extend our understanding of students’ two- to four-year college transfer, this report explores several empirical milestones, including pretransfer completion of a degree/certificate, length of pretransfer enrollment in the two-year sector, and stop-out before enrollment in a four-year institution. Before discussing the implications for policymaking, it is necessary to note the ample research on student enrollment patterns (see, for example, Adelman, 2006; Anderson, Alfonso, & Sun, 2006; and Hearn, 1992) suggesting that students who delay entry into either a two- or four-year institution and/or who have uneven course-taking patterns may not be as committed to their educational goals as their peers who have consistent full-time course-taking patterns and who do not demonstrate any delayed-entry enrollment patterns. Factors related to students’ motivation and commitment may be beyond the impact of public and institutional policies. Nonetheless, the findings highlighted in this report suggest implications for institutional and public policymaking, a few of which we outline below.

Institutional Policy Implications

This report shows that some particular pathways of transfer students may be associated with barriers to baccalaureate attainment. Two-year institutions may want to make students aware of the relationship between the empirical milestones explored in this report and baccalaureate attainment to help them take steps to alleviate the negative effects of choosing a particular pathway. For example, students who do not seek a degree or certificate from a two-year institution before transferring may benefit from more careful guidance on course-taking so as to take more courses that count towards bachelor’s degree requirements upon transfer. Students should also be advised of the potential negative relationship of a longer stop-out between two-year and four-year enrollments to bachelor’s degree completion. Indeed, in this era of accountability, when certificate or degree completion has become a key metric for institutional effectiveness, community college policymakers may want to seek out institutional policy levers for increasing the proportion of students who complete their degree before transferring and transfer immediately upon completing their degree programs.

These findings may also give four-year institutions a better understanding of the pretransfer experience of the transfer students they serve and the kind of differentiated support they need. For example, those who had a longer stop-out before enrolling in a four-year institution may need more assistance because they are transitioning not only to a four-year institution, but also back to postsecondary education in general. It may be wise for campus administrators at four-year institutions to create academic support programs for delayed-entry transfer students, much like the targeted support programs at many institutions that assist native first-year students who have been identified as at-risk.

Four-year institutions should also be aware that students who arrive with a two-year degree received after a long enrollment (more than six terms) might be more sensitive to the time to a bachelor’s degree than those who received such a degree after four to six terms. This might be because these students have already been in the postsecondary education system for a long time and have a credential in hand with which to enter the labor market. It should be noted that increasingly more software vendors and institutional IT staff are developing customer relations management tools (CRMs) to enhance student success. These tools use student enrollment information to communicate directly to students regarding their course-taking behaviors and related enrollment patterns and about the optimal paths for course taking and transfer to four-year institutions.

Public Policy Implications

These findings have important implications for public policymaking as well. Of course, more than anything else, the results reinforce the importance of the transfer function of community colleges in not only contributing to individuals’ success in postsecondary education but also in helping to achieve the national goals for college completion. The findings also suggest areas where policymaking should be focused. For example, given that two-thirds of the transfer students in this cohort transferred without the benefit of a two-year credential, policymakers may want to focus on making it easier for students to align coursework with anticipated bachelor’s degree requirements. State and federal policymakers should also consider creating incentives for students to complete degrees at the two-year institution before transferring, and to avoid stopping out for extended periods in between the enrollments in the two-year and the four-year institution. Policymakers should be interested in this point especially because federal financial aid policies have recently moved toward limiting eligibility or subsidies based upon an evaluation of whether or not a student is making progress toward completion in a timely fashion.

In closing, although we have identified pathways positively and negatively related to the success of students who transfer from two- to four-year institutions, the importance of our primary finding should not be lost in this discussion: while there is still ample room for improvement, the majority of students who transfer from two- to four-year institutions are successful — a point that often gets lost in the current public policy debate on student success. This finding further supports efforts to enable improved access to two- to four-year transfers and encourages national calls for state policies and institutional practices that support more community college students who aspire to this pathway.


References


Adelman, C. (2006). The Toolbox Revisited: Paths to Degree Completion From High School Through College. U.S. Department of Education.

Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance. (2012) Pathways to success: Integrating learning with life and work to increase national college completion, Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://www2.ed.gov/about/bdscomm/list/acsfa/ptsreport2.pdf

American Association of Community Colleges (AACC). (2013) Community College Fact Sheet. Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved from http://www.aacc.nche.edu/AboutCC/Pages/fastfactsfactsheet.aspx

Anderson, G., Alfonso, M., & Sun, J. (2006). Rethinking cooling out at public community colleges: An examination of fiscal and demographic trends in higher education and the rise of statewide articulation agreements. The Teachers College Record, 108(3), 422-451.

Bailey, T. R., Leinbach, T., & Jenkins, D. (2006). Is student success labeled institutional failure? Student goals and graduation rates in the accountability debate at community colleges. New York, NY: Columbia University, Teachers College, Community College Research Center.

Bailey, T., Jeong, D. W., & Cho, S.-W. (2010, April). Referral, enrollment, and completion in developmental education sequences in community colleges. Economics of Education Review, 29(2), 255-270.

Baldwin, C., Bensimon, E. M., Dowd, A. C., & Kleiman, L. (2011, Spring). Measuring student success. In R. B. Head (Ed.), Institutional effectiveness. New Directions for Community Colleges, 2011(153), 75-88.

Bound, J., Lovenheim, M., & Turner, S. (2009, December). Why have college completion rates declined? An analysis of changing student preparation and collegiate resources (Working Paper 15566). Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research.

Bound, J., & Turner, S. (2010). Collegiate attainment: Understanding degree completion. Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research.

Bowen, W. G., Chingos, M. M., & McPherson, M. S. (2009). Crossing the finish line: Completing college at America’s public universities. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Bragg, D. D., & Durham, B. (2012). Perspectives on access and equity in the era of (community) college completion. Community College Review, 40(2), 106-125.

Calcagno, J. C., Crosta, P., Bailey, T., & Jenkins, D. (2006). Stepping stones to a degree: The impact of enrollment pathways and milestones on older community college student outcomes (Community College Research Brief No. 32). New York, NY: Columbia University, Teachers College, Community College Research Center.

Doyle, W. R. (2006, May/June). Community college transfers and college graduation: Whose choices matter most? Change, 56-58.

Doyle, W. R. (2009). The effect of community college enrollment on bachelor’s degree completion. Economics of Education Review, 28(2), 199-206.

Goldrick-Rab, S. (2010, September). Challenges and opportunities for improving community college student success. Review of Educational Research, 80(3), 437-469.

Goldrick-Rab, S., & Pfeffer, F. T. (2009, April). Beyond access: Explaining socioeconomic differences in college transfer. Sociology of Education, 82(April), 101-125.

Hoachlander, G., Sikora, A. C., & Horn, L. (2003). Community college students: Goals, academic preparation, and outcomes. Education Statistics Quarterly, 5(2), 121-170.

Horn, L., & Nevill, S. (2006). Profile of undergraduates in U.S. postsecondary education institutions, 2003–04: With a special analysis of community college students (NCES 2006-184). Washington, DC:

Horn, L., & Radwin, D. (2012). The completion arch: Measuring community college student success: 2012. New York, NY: College Board.

Jacobs, J. A., & King, R. B. (2002). Age and college completion: A life history analysis of women aged 15-44. Sociology of Education, 75, 211-230.

Jenkins, D., & Weiss, M. J. (2011, September). Charting pathways to completion for low-income community college students (CCRC Working Paper No. 34). New York, NY: Community College Research Center, Teachers College, Columbia University.

Melguizo, T., & Dowd, A. C. (2009). Baccalaureate success of transfers and rising four-year college juniors. Teachers College Record, 111(1), 55-89.

Moore, C., Shulock, N., & Offenstein, J. (2009, October). Steps to success: Analyzing milestone achievement to improve community college student outcomes. Sacramento, CA: Institute for Higher Education Leadership & Policy.

Mullin, C. M. (2011, October). The road ahead: A look at trends in the educational attainment of community college students (Policy Brief 2011-04PBL). Washington, DC: American Association of Community Colleges.

National Center for Education Statistics. (2011). The condition of education 2011. Washington, DC: Author.

National Center for Education Statistics. (2012). The condition of education 2012. Washington, DC: Author.

Hearn, J. C. (1992). Emerging variations in postsecondary attendance patterns: An investigation of part-time, delayed, and nondegree enrollment. Research in Higher Education, 33(6), 657-687.

Offenstein, J., & Shulock, N. (2009, August). Community college student outcomes: Limitations of the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) and recommendations for improvement. Sacramento, CA: Institute for Higher Education Leadership & Policy, California State University.


Appendix A: Methodological Notes


This report describes six-year college student success outcomes, focusing primarily on bachelor’s degree completion, of a cohort of transfer students who started their postsecondary education at a two-year institution1 and transferred to a four-year institution at some point in the 2005-2006 academic year. The vast majority (99 percent) of transfer students transferred from two-year public institutions. The study follows this transfer cohort for six years, through August 12, 2012. The results presented in the report center on student outcomes over the six-year span, including baccalaureate completion (i.e., receipt of a bachelor’s degree or higher by the end of the study period), persistence in the four-year sector (i.e., having enrollment records at a four-year institution during the last year of the study period), post-transfer completion of degrees or certificates from two-year institutions, or stop-out without completion (i.e., having no enrollment records at a four-year institution and, in some analyses, at any postsecondary institution, during the last year of the study period). This report also presents a comparison of eight- and nine-year baccalaureate completion rates of students who began their postsecondary education at four-year institutions in fall 2003 and those who began at two-year institutions in fall 2003 and then transferred to a four-year institution sometime during the 2005-2006 academic year.

1 Throughout this report, “two-year institution” is used broadly to designate institutions offering both associate’s degrees and less-than-two-year degrees and certificates.

NATIONAL COVERAGE OF THE DATA

The National Student Clearinghouse® (the Clearinghouse) is a unique and trusted source for higher education enrollment and degree verification. Since its creation in 1993, the participation of institutions nationwide in Clearinghouse data-collection programs has steadily increased. Currently, Clearinghouse data include more than 3,400 postsecondary institutions and 95 percent of U.S. postsecondary enrollments. The Clearinghouse has a 20-year track record of providing automated student enrollment and degree verifications. Due to the Clearinghouse’s unique student-level record approach to data collection in its StudentTrackerSM service, the Clearinghouse database provides opportunities for robust analysis not afforded by the more commonly used institution-level national databases.

The enrollment data used in this report provide an unduplicated headcount for the 2005-2006 two- to four-year transfer student cohort. Clearinghouse data track enrollments nationally and are not limited by institutional and state boundaries. Moreover, because this database is comprised of student-level data, researchers can use it to link concurrent as well as consecutive enrollments of individual students at multiple institutions — a capability that distinguishes the Clearinghouse data from national databases built with institution-level data. For instance, in the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) — one of the most widely used national data sets in postsecondary education research — concurrent enrollments remain unlinked and, therefore, are counted as representing separate individuals and create duplication.

COHORT IDENTIFICATION, DATA CUT, AND DEFINITIONS

Focusing on the cohort of students who transferred from two-year to four-year institutions in the 2005-2006 academic year, this report examines completion over a span of six years, through August 12, 2012. To limit the cohort to undergraduate two- to four-year transfer students who began their postsecondary studies at a two-year institution, the study uses data from the Clearinghouse’s StudentTrackerSM and DegreeVerifySM services to confirm that students included in the study’s cohort fulfilled all of the following conditions:

  1. Enrolled in a four-year Title-IV institution for the first time during the 2005-2006 academic year (defined as any term with a start date between August 15, 2005 and August 13, 2006, inclusive);
  2. Showed at least one enrollment (at half-time enrollment status or higher and longer that 21 days) at a two-year institution with a begin date of August 15, 2001 or later and prior to the first “transfer” enrollment at a four-year institution in 2005-2006 (“prior two-year enrollment”);
  3. Were 18 years of age or older when enrolled at the two-year institution;
  4. Had at least one non-summer enrollment (summer enrollment is defined as terms that begin and end between May 1 and August 31 of a given year) at a four-year institution, with enrollment status listed as full-time, part-time (i.e. half-time or less than half-time), or withdrawal status.2

In addition, students’ enrollment terms shorter than one day were excluded, although the students themselves remained in the study cohort.

2 The Clearinghouse receives enrollment status data as full-time, half-time, less-than-half-time, withdrawal or other statuses from its member institutions.

ENROLLMENT INTENSITY

For this study, enrollment intensity is classified in three categories exclusively full time throughout the study period, exclusively part time throughout the study period, or mixed enrollment (including both full-time and part-time enrollments), based on students’ enrollments across all terms from the first enrollment at a four-year institution (i.e., the “time of transfer”) through the first baccalaureate completion or, for noncompleters, through the entire study period. In establishing students’ enrollment intensity in this way, enrollments during summer terms (defined as terms with both the start date and the end date falling between May 1 and August 31 of each year in the study period) and short terms (defined as terms lasting less than 21 days) were excluded from consideration.

For terms in which a student showed concurrent enrollment records (i.e., records that overlapped by 30 days or more), the two highest-intensity enrollments were considered. For example, a student concurrently enrolled halftime at two institutions was categorized as enrolled full time for that term. Overall, for each term under consideration, the “exclusively full-time enrollment” designation was assigned to students whose enrollment showed one of three situations: (1) the enrollment record showed exclusively full-time enrollment for all terms; or (2) for terms with concurrent enrollments, the two highest-intensity enrollment records included at least one full-time enrollment; or (3) for terms with concurrent enrollments, the two highest-intensity enrollment records both reflected half-time enrollment.

The “exclusively part-time enrollment” designation was assigned to students whose enrollment for each term under consideration showed one of the two following situations: (1) the enrollment record showed exclusively half-time or less than half-time enrollment; or (2) for terms with concurrent enrollments, the two highest-intensity enrollment records included some combination of half-time and less than half-time enrollments, but no full-time enrollment, and no more than one half-time enrollment.

The category of mixed enrollment was applied to students who showed a combination of full-time and part-time enrollments across the terms under consideration. Finally, students who showed records indicating withdrawal but no full-time or part-time enrollments were randomly assigned to an enrollment intensity category.

While previous Signature Report results showed the mixed-enrollment category to be approximately 51 percent of the first-time entering cohort for fall 2006 (Shapiro, Dundar et al., 2012), mixed enrollment pathways were shown to be far more prevalent among the transfer cohort for this study. More than 90 percent of the 2005-2006 transfer cohort defined for this study enrolled part-time for some terms and full-time for others. For this reason, overall patterns strongly reflect the outcomes shown by the mixed-enrollment group, and the report therefore touches only briefly on results by enrollment intensity.

BACCALAUREATE OUTCOMES SIX YEARS AFTER TRANSFER

For this report, we examined the six-year outcomes of two- to four-year transfer students, with a particular emphasis on completions at four-year institutions. We defined completion as having obtained a bachelor’s degree or higher within six years of the time of transfer (i.e., first enrollment in a four-year institution). For students who transferred to the four-year sector in the fall of 2005, completions on or before December 31, 2011 were included. Similarly, six-year completions for students who transferred in the Spring of 2006 were defined as completions occurring on or before May 31, 2012, and for students who transferred in the summer of 2006, completions falling on or before August 12, 2012 were included. This completion rate includes bachelor’s degrees and higher completed at four-year institutions. About one percent of students in the cohort completed an associate’s degree at a four-year institution. These completions were not included in the figures reported under “four-year degree completions.”

Clearinghouse data provide a unique headcount of U.S. college enrollments during each term, which allows for the tracking of individuals including those with concurrent completions. In preparing data for this report, a small number of individuals showed more than one completion awarded at multiple institutions on the same day. In these instances, a primary completion record was selected using the following decision rules.

  1. Same over different: Completions at the original transfer institution were selected over completions at other institutions
  2. Four-year over two-year: If the first decision rule did not result in the selection of a single completion record, then completions at four-year institutions were selected over those at two-year institutions.
  3. Random selection: If neither of the first two decision rules resulted in the selection of a single completion record, then a completion record was selected at random.

Under “Six-Year Baccalaureate Outcomes” we also report on whether students are still enrolled in a four-year institution at the end of the study period. This persistence-outcome is defined as showing at least one enrollment during the last year of the study (August 15, 2011 – August 12, 2012).

In addition to completion of four-year degrees and continued enrollment in the four-year sector, in just a few tables and figures, we also report on students who (1) attain degrees or certificates from two-year institutions post-transfer or are still enrolled at a two-year institution at the end of the study, and (2) those who were not enrolled at any institution at the end of the study period.

CARNEGIE CLASSIFICATION OF FOUR-YEAR INSTITUTIONS

The report also includes an exploration of the Carnegie Basic Classification of students’ transfer destination institution. For readability, and to highlight the main purposes of the report, we combined all research and doctoral-granting institutions into one category and all master’s-granting institutions into one category. Separate categories for three types of baccalaureate institutions were included: (1) baccalaureate colleges: arts & sciences, (2) baccalaureate colleges: diverse fields, and (3) baccalaureate colleges that primarily grant associate’s degrees. Special-focus institutions (e.g., specialized schools in the arts, medical, technology, engineering, law, religion, business, and other fields) were included in the analysis and presented as a combined category. A small percentage of students in the study cohort (3.4 percent) transferred to four-year institutions that showed a Carnegie Basic classification as either missing or not applicable; these students were not included in the data presented in this section of the report.

IMPUTATION OF VALUES FOR GENDER

The Clearinghouse’s coverage of student gender has increased over recent years. However, imputation of its value for the majority of enrollment records is still necessary to use it in research studies. To meet this need, the Research Center developed an imputation process in which previously submitted name‐gender pairs are used to determine the probability of any first name being associated with either gender. To increase the accuracy of the imputation process, the Research Center also draws on name‐gender data from the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the U.S. Census Bureau.

Because the Clearinghouse collects transactional data, its data contain many more unique first names than the other sources. International students may also contribute to the large variety of first names submitted to the Clearinghouse. The imputation used only those pairs in which the name occurred in at least two instances and was associated with a single gender in at least 95 percent of the instances. The SSA and Census data sets were used to ensure that name‐gender pairs were consistent across every data set in which they occurred and to enhance the imputation process by contributing name‐gender pairs that did not occur in the Clearinghouse data.

Institutions reported student gender to the Clearinghouse for approximately 24 percent of all students included in this report. The imputation enabled gender (either school-provided or imputed) to be reported for 89 percent of all students.

WEIGHTING

The institutions participating in the Clearinghouse enrollment data reporting service (i.e., providing the data coverage) is not 100 percent of all institutions for any individual year. To account for the possibility that a student’s enrollment outcome was not captured due to undercoverage in Clearinghouse data, analysis weights were calculated using the sector’s 2011 coverage rate and control of the institution that reported the last enrollment record for the student. The last enrollment record was defined as follows:

  • For completers: The last enrollment was based on the first completion
  • For persisters: The last enrollment before the end of the study period
  • For students who had no enrollment records during the last year of the study: The last enrollment record before stop-out

For students who completed a degree or were still enrolled at a different institution by the end of the study period, a “transfer” weight was applied. The transfer weight used was an over-weight based on the coverage of the sector and control of the institution in which the student was enrolled for the last enrollment record, as calculated by the formula provided below:

WP-Sig5-Eq1

For students who stopped out by the end of the study period, a “missing” weight was applied. The missing weight used was an under-weight based on the coverage of the sector and control of the institution in which the student was enrolled for the last enrollment record, as calculated by the formula provided below:

WP-Sig5-Eq2

DATA LIMITATIONS

The data limitations in this report center mainly on the data coverage, the methods used for cohort identification, and the definition of key constructs, as outlined above.

The representation of private for-profit institutions in the StudentTracker data is lower than that of other institution types, with 67 percent coverage for four-year private for-profit institutions in 2005-2006 compared to 85 percent and 95 percent, respectively, for four-year private nonprofit institutions and four-year public institutions. Despite the challenges presented by low participation in the early years covered in this report, current Clearinghouse data nevertheless offer near-census national coverage, representing 95 percent of U.S. postsecondary enrollments. In an effort to correct for coverage gaps in this study, data were weighted for student outcomes, as explained above.

Finally, although Clearinghouse data contain some demographic information on students, historical coverage rates for the demographic data elements are uneven. Consequently, the results summarized in this report do not break enrollments out by race/ethnicity and results on gender are based partially on imputed values, as described above.


Appendix B: Coverage Table


Table B1. NSC Coverage of Enrollments by Institution Type

(Title IV, Degree-Granting Institutions, 2011 Fall)*

Institution Type National Coverage Rate
Four-Year Public 99.52%
Four-Year Private Nonprofit 93.83%
Four-Year Private For-Profit 67.94%
Two-Year Public 97.41%
Two-Year Private Nonprofit 39.75%
Two-Year Private For-Profit 22.26%

 

*The analysis weights were calculated using these coverage rates.


Appendix C: Results Tables


Table A. 2005-2006 Transfer Cohort: Unadjusted Distribution by Institution Type of Four-Year Transfer Destination Institution
Four-Year Institution Type Weighted Count Percentage
Public 232,542 72.46%
Private Nonprofit 63,162 19.68%
Private For-profit 25,171 7.84%
Non-IPEDS Institutions 36 0.01%
Total 320,911 100.00%

 

Data from this appendix table are displayed in the report in Figure A. 2005–2006 Transfer Cohort: Four-Year Transfer Destination Institutions.


Table B. 2005–2006 Transfer Cohort: Distribution by Institution Type of Four-Year Transfer Destination Institution, Adjusted for Coverage
Four-Year Institution Type Weighted Count Percentage
Public 244,791 68.60%
Private Nonprofit 74,319 20.83%
Private For-profit 37,733 10.57%
Total 356,842 100.00%

 

Data from this appendix table are displayed in the report in Figure B. 2005–2006 Transfer Cohort: Four-Year Transfer Destination Institutions, Adjusted for Coverage.


Table C. 2005–2006 Transfer Cohort: Distribution by Enrollment Intensity
Enrollment Intensity Weighted Count Percentage
Exclusively Full-time 118,058 36.77%
Exclusively Part-time 26,787 8.34%
Mixed Enrollment 174,570 54.38%
Missing 1,496 0.47%
Total 320,911 99.96%

 

Data from this appendix table are displayed in the report in Figure C. 2005–2006 Transfer Cohort: Distribution by Enrollment Intensity.


Table D. 2005–2006 Transfer Cohort: Students With/Without Pretransfer Two-Year Degree or Certificate by Length of Enrollment at Two-Year Institution
2005-2006 Transfer Cohort (n=320,911)
Length of Enrollment With Two-Year Degree or Certificate Without Two-Year Degree or Certificate
One to Three Terms 6,649 76,768
Four to Six Terms 40,421 69,316
More Than Six Terms 68,700 59,058
Total 115,769 205,141
Students Who Transferred to Four-Year Public Institutions (n=232,542)
Length of Enrollment With Two-Year Degree or Certificate Without Two-Year Degree or Certificate
One to Three Terms 4,653 49,957
Four to Six Terms 31,926 49,252
More Than Six Terms 53,168 43,586
Total 89,747 142,796
Students Who Transferred to Four-Year Private Nonprofit Institutions (n=63,162)
Length of Enrollment With Two-Year Degree or Certificate Without Two-Year Degree or Certificate
One to Three Terms 1,360 17,719
Four to Six Terms 7,268 14,067
More Than Six Terms 12,288 10,461
Total 20,915 42,247
Students Who Transferred to Four-Year Private For-Profit Institutions (n=25,171)
Length of Enrollment With Two-Year Degree or Certificate Without Two-Year Degree or Certificate
One to Three Terms 635 9,085
Four to Six Terms 1,223 5,985
More Than Six Terms 3,238 5,003
Total 5,097 20,073

Table E. 2005–2006 Transfer Cohort: Time Between Most Recent Two-Year Enrollment and Transfer to Four-Year Institution
Time Between Enrollment and Transfer 2005-2006 Transfer Cohort
Within One Year 263,587
More Than One Year 57,324
Total 320,911
Time Between Enrollment and Transfer Students Who Transferred to Four-Year Public Institutions
Within One Year 202,986
More Than One Year 29,557
Total 232,542
Time Between Enrollment and Transfer Students Who Transferred to Four-Year Private Nonprofit Institutions
Within One Year 49,333
More Than One Year 13,828
Total 63,162
Time Between Enrollment and Transfer Students Who Transferred to Four-Year Private For-Profit Institutions
Within One Year 11,237
More Than One Year 13,933
Total 25,170

Table 1. 2005–2006 Transfer Cohort: Postsecondary Outcomes Six Years After Transfer (n=320,911)
Completion at Four-Year Institution Still Enrolled at Four-Year Institution Completion or Still Enrolled in Two-Year Sector Not Enrolled (At Any Institution)
61.56 7.78 4.04 26.63

 

Data from this appendix table are displayed in the report in Figure 1. 2005–2006 Transfer Cohort: Postsecondary Outcomes Six Years After Transfer.


Table 2. 2005–2006 Transfer Cohort: Baccalaureate Outcomes Six Years After Transfer, by Gender (n=320,911)
Completion at Four-Year Institution Still Enrolled at Four-Year Institution Not Enrolled (At Any Four-Year Institution) Total
Female 62.43 7.90 29.66 100.00
Male 60.65 7.55 31.81 100.00
Unknown 60.88 8.01 31.10 100.00

 

Data from this appendix table are displayed in the report in Figure 2. 2005–2006 Transfer Cohort: Baccalaureate Outcomes Six Years After Transfer, by Gender.


Table 3. 2005–2006 Transfer Cohort: Baccalaureate Outcomes Six Years After Transfer, by Enrollment Intensity
Enrollment Intensity Completion at Four-Year Institution Still Enrolled at Four-Year Institution Not Enrolled (At Any Four-Year Institution)
Exclusively Full-Time 80.21 1.76 18.03
Exclusively Part-Time 24.48 8.78 66.73
Mixed Enrollment 55.03 11.74 33.23

 

Data from this appendix table are displayed in the report in Figure 3. 2005–2006 Transfer Cohort: Baccalaureate Outcomes Six Years After Transfer, by Enrollment Intensity.


Table 4. 2005–2006 Transfer Cohort: Baccalaureate Outcomes Six Years After Transfer, of Students With/Without Pretransfer Two-Year Degree or Certificate
With Two-Year Degree or Certificate (n=115,769) Without Two-Year Degree or Certificate (n=205,141)
Completion at Four-Year Institution Still Enrolled at Four-Year Institution Not Enrolled (At Any Four-Year Institution) Completion at Four-Year Institution Still Enrolled at Four-Year Institution Not Enrolled (At Any Four-Year Institution)
71.56 5.58 22.86 55.92 9.01 35.07

 

Data from this appendix table are displayed in the report in Figure 4. 2005–2006 Transfer Cohort: Baccalaureate Outcomes Six Years After Transfer, of Students With/Without Pretransfer Two-Year Degree or Certificate.


Table 5. 2005–2006 Transfer Cohort: Baccalaureate Outcomes Six Years After Transfer, of Students With/Without Pretransfer Two-Year Degree or Certificate, by Length of Enrollment at Two-Year Institution
Length of Enrollment With Two-Year Degree or Certificate (n=115,769) Without Two-Year Degree or Certificate (n=205,141)
Completion at Four-Year Institution Still Enrolled at Four-Year Institution Not Enrolled (At Any Four-Year Institution) Completion at Four-Year Institution Still Enrolled at Four-Year Institution Not Enrolled (At Any Four-Year Institution)
One to Three Terms 62.16 7.72 30.12 48.60 10.64 40.76
Four to Six Terms 75.87 4.29 19.84 59.59 8.18 32.23
More Than Six Terms 69.93 6.13 23.94 61.12 7.88 31.00

 

Data from this appendix table are displayed in the report in Figures 5.1. 2005–2006 Transfer Cohort: Baccalaureate Outcomes Six Years After Transfer, of Students With Pretransfer Two-Year Degree or Certificate, by Length of Enrollment at Two-Year Institution, and 5.2. 2005–2006 Transfer Cohort: Baccalaureate Outcomes Six Years After Transfer, of Students Without Pretransfer Two-Year Degree or Certificate, by Length of Enrollment at Two-Year Institution.


Table 6. 2005–2006 Transfer Cohort: Baccalaureate Outcomes Six Years After Transfer, by Time Between Most Recent Two-Year Enrollment and Transfer to Four-Year Institution
Time Between Enrollment and Transfer Completion at Four-Year Institution Still Enrolled at Four-Year Institution Not Enrolled (At Any Four-Year Institution)
Within One Year (n=263,587) 66.26 6.79 26.96
More Than One Year (n=57,324) 39.96 12.32 47.73

 

Data from this appendix table are displayed in the report in Figure 6. 2005–2006 Transfer Cohort: Baccalaureate Outcomes Six Years After Transfer, by Time Between Most Recent Two-Year Enrollment and Transfer to Four-Year Institution.


Table 7. 2005–2006 Transfer Cohort: Baccalaureate Outcomes Six Years After Transfer, by Institution Type of Transfer Destination Institution (n=320,911)
Institution Type Completion at Four-Year Institution Still Enrolled at Four-Year Institution Not Enrolled (At Any Four-Year Institution)
Public 64.79 7.09 28.12
Private Nonprofit 60.24 8.00 31.76
Private For-Profit 35.08 13.52 51.40
Non-IPEDS 47.44 2.77 49.79

 

Data from this appendix table are displayed in the report in Figure 7. 2005–2006 Transfer Cohort: Baccalaureate Outcomes Six Years After Transfer, by Institution Type of Transfer Destination Institution.


Table 8. Students Who Transferred from Two-Year Institutions to Four-Year Public Institutions in 2005–2006: Postsecondary Outcomes Six Years After Transfer (n=232,542)
Completion at Four-Year Institution Still Enrolled at Four-Year Institution Completion or Still Enrolled in Two-Year Sector Not Enrolled (At Any Institution)
64.79 7.09 3.60 24.52

 

Data from this appendix table are displayed in the report in Figure 8. Students Who Transferred from Two-Year Institutions to Four-Year Public Institutions in 2005–2006: Postsecondary Outcomes Six Years After Transfer.


Table 9. Students Who Transferred from Two-Year Institutions to Four-Year Public Institutions in 2005–2006: Baccalaureate Outcomes Six Years After Transfer, by Gender
Completion at Four-Year Institution Still Enrolled at Four-Year Institution Not Enrolled (At Any Four-Year Institution)
Female (n=110,629) 66.12 7.11 26.78
Male (n=95,356) 63.28 7.06 29.66
Unknown (n=26,558) 64.65 7.15 28.20

 

Data from this appendix table are displayed in the report in Figure 9. Students Who Transferred from Two-Year Institutions to Four-Year Public Institutions in 2005–2006: Baccalaureate Outcomes Six Years After Transfer, by Gender.


Table 10. Students Who Transferred from Two-Year Institutions to Four-Year Public Institutions in 2005–2006: Baccalaureate Outcomes Six Years After Transfer, by Enrollment Intensity (n=231,744)
Degree from Four-Year Institution Still Enrolled at Four-Year Institution Not Enrolled (At Any Four-Year Institution)
Exclusively Full-Time 83.58 1.56 14.85
Exclusively Part-Time 24.75 12.11 63.13
Mixed Enrollment 62.07 13.50 24.43

 

Data from this appendix table are displayed in the report in Figure 10. Students Who Transferred from Two-Year Institutions to Four-Year Public Institutions in 2005–2006: Baccalaureate Outcomes Six Years After Transfer, by Enrollment Intensity.


Table 11. Students Who Transferred from Two-Year Institutions to Four-Year Public Institutions in 2005–2006: Baccalaureate Outcomes Six Years After Transfer, of Students With/Without Pretransfer Two-Year Degree or Certificate
With Two-Year Degree or Certificate (n=89,747) Without Two-Year Degree or Certificate (n=142,796)
Completion at Four-Year Institution Still Enrolled at Four-Year Institution Not Enrolled (At Any Four-Year Institution) Completion at Four-Year Institution Still Enrolled at Four-Year Institution Not Enrolled (At Any Four-Year Institution)
73.01 5.21 21.77 59.61 8.27 32.11

 

Data from this appendix table are displayed in the report in Figure 11. Students Who Transferred from Two-Year Institutions to Four-Year Public Institutions in 2005–2006: Baccalaureate Outcomes Six Years After Transfer, of Students With/Without Pretransfer Two-Year Degree or Certificate.


Table 12. Students Who Transferred from Two-Year Institutions to Four-Year Public Institutions in 2005–2006: Baccalaureate Outcomes Six Years After Transfer, of Students With/Without Pretransfer Two-Year Degree or Certificate by Length of Enrollment at Two-Year Institution
Length of Enrollment With Two-Year Degree or Certificate Without Two-Year Degree or Certificate
Completion at Four-Year Institution Still Enrolled at Four-Year Institution Not Enrolled (At Any Four-Year Institution) Completion at Four-Year Institution Still Enrolled at Four-Year Institution Not Enrolled (At Any Four-Year Institution)
One to Three Terms 65.13 6.83 28.04 51.93 10.09 37.98
Four to Six Terms 77.20 4.02 18.77 63.24 7.46 29.30
More Than Six Terms 71.19 5.78 23.03 64.33 7.11 28.56

 

Data from this appendix table are displayed in the report in Figure 12.1. Students Who Transferred from Two-Year Institutions to Four-Year Public
Institutions in 2005–2006: Baccalaureate Outcomes Six Years After Transfer, of Students WITH Pretransfer Two-Year Degree or Certificate by Length of Enrollment at Two-Year Institution
, and Figure 12.2. Students Who Transferred from Two-Year Institutions to Four-Year Public Institutions in 2005–2006: Baccalaureate Outcomes Six Years After Transfer, of Students WITHOUT Pretransfer Two-Year Degree or Certificate by Length of Enrollment at Two-Year Institution.


Table 13. Students Who Transferred from Two-Year Institutions to Four-Year Public Institutions in 2005–2006: Baccalaureate Outcomes Six Years After Transfer, by Time Between Most Recent Two-Year Enrollment and Transfer to Four-Year Institution
Time Between Enrollment and Transfer Completion at Four-Year Institution Still Enrolled at Four-Year Institution Not Enrolled (At Any Four-Year Institution)
Within One Year (n=202,986) 68.08 6.44 25.48
More Than One Year (n=29,557) 42.14 11.61 46.25

 

Data from this appendix table are displayed in the report in Figure 13. Students Who Transferred from Two-Year Institutions to Four-Year Public Institutions in 2005–2006: Baccalaureate Outcomes Six Years After Transfer, by Time Between Most Recent Two-Year Enrollment and Transfer to Four-Year Institution.


Table 14. Students Who Transferred from Two-Year Institutions to Four-Year Private Nonprofit Institutions in 2005–2006: Postsecondary Outcomes Six Years After Transfer (n=63,162)
Completion at Four-Year Institution Still Enrolled at Four-Year Institution Completion or Still Enrolled in Two-Year Sector Not Enrolled (At Any Institution)
60.24 8.00 3.85 27.91

 

Data from this appendix table are displayed in the report in Figure 14. Students Who Transferred from Two-Year Institutions to Four-Year Private Nonprofit Institutions in 2005–2006: Postsecondary Outcomes Six Years After Transfer.


Table 15. Students Who Transferred from Two-Year Institutions to Four-Year Private Nonprofit Institutions in 2005–2006: Baccalaureate Outcomes Six Years After Transfer, by Gender
Completion at Four-Year Institution Still Enrolled at Four-Year Institution Not Enrolled (At Any Four-Year Institution)
Female (n=34,295) 61.48 8.06 30.46
Male (n=22,521) 58.94 7.71 33.34
Unknown (n=6,346) 58.12 8.69 33.19

 

Data from this appendix table are displayed in the report in Figure 15. Students Who Transferred from Two-Year Institutions to Four-Year Private Nonprofit Institutions in 2005–2006: Baccalaureate Outcomes Six Years After Transfer, by Gender.


Table 16. Students Who Transferred from Two-Year Institutions to Four-Year Private Nonprofit Institutions in 2005–2006: Baccalaureate Outcomes Six Years After Transfer, by Enrollment Intensity by Enrollment Intensity (n=62,780)
Degree from Four-Year Institution Still Enrolled at Four-Year Institution Not Enrolled (At Any Four-Year Institution)
Exclusively Full-Time 78.95 1.85 19.20
Exclusively Part-Time 31.31 12.75 55.94
Mixed Enrollment 52.88 17.47 29.65

 

Data from this appendix table are displayed in the report in Figure 16. Students Who Transferred from Two-Year Institutions to Four-Year Private Nonprofit Institutions in 2005–2006: Baccalaureate Outcomes Six Years After Transfer, by Enrollment Intensity.


Table 17. Students Who Transferred from Two-Year Institutions to Four-Year Private Nonprofit Institutions in 2005–2006: Baccalaureate Outcomes Six Years After Transfer, of Students With/Without Pretransfer Two-Year Degree or Certificate
With Two-Year Degree or Certificate (n=20,915) Without Two-Year Degree or Certificate (n=42,248)
Completion at Four-Year Institution Still Enrolled at Four-Year Institution Not Enrolled (At Any Four-Year Institution) Completion at Four-Year Institution Still Enrolled at Four-Year Institution Not Enrolled (At Any Four-Year Institution)
69.18 6.13 24.69 55.81 8.93 35.26

 

Data from this appendix table are displayed in the report in Figure 17. Students Who Transferred from Two-Year Institutions to Four-Year Private Nonprofit Institutions in 2005–2006: Baccalaureate Outcomes Six Years After Transfer, of Students With/Without Pretransfer Two-Year Degree or Certificate.


Table 18. Students Who Transferred from Two-Year Institutions to Four-Year Private Nonprofit Institutions in 2005–2006: Baccalaureate Outcomes Six Years After Transfer, of Students With/Without Pretransfer Two-Year Degree or Certificate, by Length of Enrollment at Two-Year Institution
Length of Enrollment With Two-Year Degree or Certificate (n=20,915) Without Two-Year Degree or Certificate (n=42,247)
Completion at Four-Year Institution Still Enrolled at Four-Year Institution Not Enrolled (At Any Four-Year Institution) Completion at Four-Year Institution Still Enrolled at Four-Year Institution Not Enrolled (At Any Four-Year Institution)
One to Three Terms 61.26 7.60 31.14 52.00 9.68 38.32
Four to Six Terms 73.16 4.79 22.05 59.07 7.97 32.95
More Than Six Terms 67.70 6.76 25.54 57.88 8.95 33.17

 

Data from this appendix table are displayed in the report in Figure 18.1. Students Who Transferred from Two-Year Institutions to Four-Year Private Nonprofit Institutions in 2005–2006: Baccalaureate Outcomes Six Years After Transfer, of Students WITH Pretransfer Two-Year Degree or Certificate, by Length of Enrollment at Two-Year Institution, and Figure 18.2. Students Who Transferred from Two-Year Institutions to Four-Year Private Nonprofit Institutions in 2005–2006: Baccalaureate Outcomes Six Years After Transfer, of Students WITHOUT Pretransfer Two-Year Degree or Certificate, by Length of Enrollment at Two-Year Institution.


Table 19. Students Who Transferred from Two-Year Institutions to Four-Year Private Nonprofit Institutions in 2005–2006: Baccalaureate Outcomes Six Years After Transfer, by Time Between Most Recent Two-Year Enrollment and Transfer to Four-Year Institution
Time Between Enrollment and Transfer Completion at Four-Year Institution Still Enrolled at Four-Year Institution Not Enrolled (At Any Four-Year Institution)
Within One Year (n=49,333) 64.91 6.90 28.20
More Than One Year (n=13,829) 43.57 11.95 44.48

 

Data from this appendix table are displayed in the report in Figure 19. Students Who Transferred from Two-Year Institutions to Four-Year Private Nonprofit Institutions in 2005–2006: Baccalaureate Outcomes Six Years After Transfer, by Time Between Most Recent Two-Year Enrollment and Transfer to Four-Year Institution.


Table 20. Students Who Transferred from Two-Year Institutions to Four-Year Private For-Profit Institutions in 2005–2006: Postsecondary Outcomes Six Years After Transfer (n=25,171)
Completion at Four-Year Institution Still Enrolled at Four-Year Institution Completion or Still Enrolled in Two-Year Sector Not Enrolled (At Any Institution)
35.08 13.52 8.57 42.83

 

Data from this appendix table are displayed in the report in Figure 20. Students Who Transferred from Two-Year Institutions to Four-Year Private For-Profit Institutions in 2005–2006: Postsecondary Outcomes Six Years After Transfer.


Table 21. Students Who Transferred from Two-Year Institutions to Four-Year Private For-Profit Institutions in 2005–2006: Baccalaureate Outcomes Six Years After Transfer, by Gender
Completion at Four-Year Institution Still Enrolled at Four-Year Institution Not Enrolled (At Any Four-Year Institution)
Female (n=14,060) 35.81 13.78 50.40
Male (n=8,137) 34.53 12.80 52.68
Unknown (n=2,974) 33.13 14.25 52.62

 

Data from this appendix table are displayed in the report in Figure 21. Students Who Transferred from Two-Year Institutions to Four-Year Private For-Profit Institutions in 2005–2006: Baccalaureate Outcomes Six Years After Transfer, by Gender.


Table 22. Students Who Transferred from Two-Year Institutions to Four-Year Private For-Profit Institutions in 2005–2006: Baccalaureate Outcomes Six Years After Transfer, by Enrollment Intensity (n=24,859)
Degree from Four-Year Institution Still Enrolled at Four-Year Institution Not Enrolled (At Any Four-Year Institution)
Exclusively Full-Time 57.72 5.92 36.36
Exclusively Part-Time 18.13 15.48 66.39
Mixed Enrollment 26.46 30.83 42.71

 

Data from this appendix table are displayed in the report in Figure 22. Students Who Transferred from Two-Year Institutions to Four-Year Private For-Profit Institutions in 2005–2006: Baccalaureate Outcomes Six Years After Transfer, by Enrollment Intensity.


Table 23. Students Who Transferred from Two-Year Institutions to Four-Year Private For-Profit Institutions in 2005–2006: Baccalaureate Outcomes Six Years After Transfer, of Students With/Without Pretransfer Two-Year Degree or Certificate
With Two-Year Degree or Certificate (n=5,097) Without Two-Year Degree or Certificate (n=20,074)
Completion at Four-Year Institution Still Enrolled at Four-Year Institution Not Enrolled (At Any Four-Year Institution) Completion at Four-Year Institution Still Enrolled at Four-Year Institution Not Enrolled (At Any Four-Year Institution)
55.72 9.78 34.50 29.84 14.47 55.69

 

Transfer cohort with pretransfer two-year degree or certificate, n=5,100; transfer cohort without pretransfer two-year degree or certificate, n=20,182.

Data from this appendix table are displayed in the report in Figure 23. Students Who Transferred from Two-Year Institutions to Four-Year Private For-Profit Institutions in 2005–2006: Baccalaureate Outcomes Six Years After Transfer, of Students With/Without Pretransfer Two-Year Degree or Certificate.


Table 24. Students Who Transferred from Two-Year Institutions to Four-Year Private For-Profit Institutions in 2005–2006: Baccalaureate Outcomes Six Years After Transfer, of Students With/Without Pretransfer Two-Year Degree or Certificate, by Length of Enrollment at Two-Year Institution
Length of Enrollment With Two-Year Degree or Certificate (n=5,097) Without Two-Year Degree or Certificate (n=20,073)
Completion at Four-Year Institution Still Enrolled at Four-Year Institution Not Enrolled (At Any Four-Year Institution) Completion at Four-Year Institution Still Enrolled at Four-Year Institution Not Enrolled (At Any Four-Year Institution)
One to Three Terms 42.28 14.46 43.26 23.64 15.59 60.76
Four to Six Terms 57.14 8.13 34.73 30.75 14.59 54.66
More Than Six Terms 57.82 9.48 32.70 40.01 12.29 47.71

 

Data from this appendix table are displayed in the report in Figure 24.1. Students Who Transferred from Two-Year Institutions to Four-Year Private For-Profit Institutions in 2005–2006: Baccalaureate Outcomes Six Years After Transfer, of Students WITH Pretransfer Two-Year Degree or Certificate, by Length of Enrollment at Two-Year Institution, and Figure 24.2. Students Who Transferred from Two-Year Institutions to Four-Year Private For-Profit Institutions in 2005–2006: Baccalaureate Outcomes Six Years After Transfer, of Students WITHOUT Pretransfer Two-Year Degree or Certificate, by Length of Enrollment at Two-Year Institution.


Table 25. Students Who Transferred from Two-Year Institutions to Four-Year Private For-Profit Institutions in 2005–2006: Baccalaureate Outcomes Six Years After Transfer, by Time Between Most Recent Two-Year Enrollment and Transfer to Four-Year Institution
Time Between Enrollment and Transfer Completion at Four-Year Institution Still Enrolled at Four-Year Institution Not Enrolled (At Any Four-Year Institution)
Within One Year (n=11,237) 39.24 12.69 48.07
More Than One Year (n=13,993) 31.73 14.18 54.09

 

Data from this appendix table are displayed in the report in Figure 25. Students Who Transferred from Two-Year Institutions to Four-Year Private For-Profit Institutions in 2005–2006: Baccalaureate Outcomes Six Years After Transfer, by Time Between Most Recent Two-Year Enrollment and Transfer to Four-Year Institution.


Table 26. 2005–2006 Transfer Cohort: Baccalaureate Outcomes Six Years After Transfer, by Carnegie Classification of Transfer Destination Institution and by Gender (n=320,911)
Institution Type* 2005-2006 Transfer Cohort
Completion at Four-Year Institution Still Enrolled at Four-Year Institution Not Enrolled (At Any Four-Year Institution) Total
Research & Doctorate-Granting 68.81 6.70 24.49 100.00
Master’s 58.54 8.15 33.30 100.00
Baccalaureate – Arts & Sciences 60.43 7.85 31.72 100.00
Baccalaureate – Diverse Fields 49.04 10.68 40.29 100.00
Baccalaureate/Associate’s 24.94 10.89 64.17 100.00
Special Focus Institutions 59.24 7.41 33.34 100.00
Primarily Associate’s Four-Year 16.23 16.54 67.24 100.00
Female
Institution Type* Completion at Four-Year Institution Still Enrolled at Four-Year Institution Not Enrolled (At Any Four-Year Institution) Total
Research & Doctorate-Granting 69.83 6.62 23.55 100.00
Master’s 59.58 8.32 32.10 100.00
Baccalaureate – Arts & Sciences 61.56 7.78 30.66 100.00
Baccalaureate – Diverse Fields 51.56 10.92 37.52 100.00
Baccalaureate/Associate’s 26.98 11.65 61.37 100.00
Special Focus Institutions 61.33 7.55 31.12 100.00
Primarily Associate’s Four-Year 16.83 18.72 64.45 100.00
Male
Institution Type* Completion at Four-Year Institution Still Enrolled at Four-Year Institution Not Enrolled (At Any Four-Year Institution) Total
Research & Doctorate-Granting 67.54 6.81 25.65 100.00
Master’s 57.52 7.81 34.67 100.00
Baccalaureate – Arts & Sciences 60.45 7.19 32.37 100.00
Baccalaureate – Diverse Fields 46.59 9.89 43.52 100.00
Baccalaureate/Associate’s 21.87 10.20 67.93 100.00
Special Focus Institutions 56.98 7.26 35.76 100.00
Primarily Associate’s Four-Year 15.95 14.96 69.09 100.00
Unknown
Institution Type* Completion at Four-Year Institution Still Enrolled at Four-Year Institution Not Enrolled (At Any Four-Year Institution) Total
Research & Doctorate-Granting 69.46 6.61 23.93 100.00
Master’s 57.01 8.53 34.45 100.00
Baccalaureate – Arts & Sciences 54.45 10.88 34.66 100.00
Baccalaureate – Diverse Fields 44.82 12.09 43.09 100.00
Baccalaureate/Associate’s 27.99 10.45 61.55 100.00
Special Focus Institutions 57.83 7.34 34.84 100.00
Primarily Associate’s Four-Year 15.06 14.51 70.44 100.00

 

*For a small number of students, institution type was missing or not applicable.

Data from this appendix table are displayed in the report in Figure 26.1. 2005–2006 Transfer Cohort: Baccalaureate Outcomes Six Years After Transfer, by Carnegie Classification of Transfer Destination Institution, Figure 26.2. Transfer Cohort Women: Baccalaureate Outcomes Six Years After Transfer, by Carnegie Classification of Transfer Destination Institution, and Figure 26.3. Transfer Cohort Men: Baccalaureate Outcomes Six Years After Transfer, by Carnegie Classification of Transfer Destination Institution.


Table S-1. Fall 2003 Cohort: Eight-Year Baccalaureate Outcomes of Students Who Began at Four-Year Institutions by Institution Type (n=949,427)
Institution Type Completion at Four-Year Institution Still Enrolled at Four-Year Institution Not Enrolled (At Any Four-Year Institution)
Public (n=709,098) 63.18 11.88 24.94
Private Nonprofit (n=232,339) 71.34 8.04 20.61
Private For-Profit (n=7,989) 41.61 11.69 46.70
Total 64.99 10.94 24.06

 

Data from this appendix table are displayed in the report in Figure S-1. Fall 2003 Cohorts: Eight-Year Baccalaureate Outcomes of Students Who Began at Four-Year Public Institutions vs. Students Who Began at Two-Year Institutions and Transferred to Four-Year Public Institutions.


Table S-2. Fall 2003 Cohort: Nine-Year Baccalaureate Outcomes of Students Who Began at Four-Year Institutions by Institution Type (n=949,427)
Institution Type Completion at Four-Year Institution Still Enrolled at Four-Year Institution Not Enrolled (At Any Four-Year Institution)
Public 64.55 7.96 27.49
Private Nonprofit 72.32 5.27 22.41
Private For-Profit 42.62 8.07 49.30
Total 66.27 7.30 26.43

 


Table S-3. Fall 2003 Cohort: Eight-Year Baccalaureate Outcomes of 2005-2006 Transfer Students Who Began at Two-Year Institutions by Institution Type of Transfer Destination Institution (n=49,458)
Institution Type Completion at Four-Year Institution Still Enrolled at Four-Year Institution Not Enrolled (At Any Four-Year Institution)
Public (n=39,338) 73.52 6.74 19.74
Private Nonprofit (n=8,458) 67.90 7.49 24.60
Private For-Profit (n=1,662) 30.71 18.62 50.67
Total 71.12 7.27 21.61

 

Data from this appendix table are displayed in the report in Figure S-1. Fall 2003 Cohorts: Eight-Year Baccalaureate Outcomes of Students Who Began at Four-Year Public Institutions vs. Students Who Began at Two-Year Institutions and Transferred to Four-Year Public Institutions.


Table S-4. Fall 2003 Cohorts: Nine-Year Baccalaureate Outcomes of 2005-2006 Transfer Students Who Began at Two-Year Institutions by Institution Type of Transfer Destination Institution (n=49,458)
Institution Type Completion at Four-Year Institution Still Enrolled at Four-Year Institution Not Enrolled (At Any Four-Year Institution)
Public (n=39,338) 75.22 3.80 20.98
Private Nonprofit (n=8,458) 69.30 4.73 25.97
Private For-Profit (n=1,662) 32.88 13.37 53.75
Total 72.79 4.28 22.93

 


Table S-5. Fall 2003 Cohorts: Eight-Year Baccalaureate Outcomes of Students Who Transferred in 2005-2006 With/Without a Pretransfer Two-Year Degree or Certificate by Institution Type of Transfer Destination Institution
Institution Type With Two-Year Degree or Certificate (n=17,483) Without Two-Year Degree or Certificate (n=31,975)
Completion at Four-Year Institution Still Enrolled at Four-Year Institution Not Enrolled (At Any Four-Year Institution) Completion at Four-Year Institution Still Enrolled at Four-Year Institution Not Enrolled (At Any Four-Year Institution)
Public 83.00 4.11 12.89 67.82 8.32 23.86
Private Nonprofit 78.26 4.56 17.18 63.44 8.76 27.80
Private For-Profit ** ** ** 27.80 19.22 52.98
Total 82.06 4.26 13.68 65.14 8.91 25.95

 

Data from this appendix table are displayed in the report in Figure S-2. Fall 2003 Cohorts: Eight-Year Baccalaureate Outcomes of Students Who Transferred in 2005-2006 With/Without a Pretransfer Two-Year Degree or Certificate.

**Results that include counts < 50 are not displayed


Table S-6. Fall 2003 Cohorts: Nine-Year Baccalaureate Outcomes of Students Who Transferred in 2005-2006 With/Without a Pretransfer Two-Year Degree or Certificate by Institution Type of Transfer Destination Institution
Institution Type With Two-Year Degree or Certificate (n=17,483) Without Two-Year Degree or Certificate (n=31,975)
Completion at Four-Year Institution Still Enrolled at Four-Year Institution Not Enrolled (At Any Four-Year Institution) Completion at Four-Year Institution Still Enrolled at Four-Year Institution Not Enrolled (At Any Four-Year Institution)
Public 84.28 2.09 13.63 69.78 4.83 25.39
Private Nonprofit 79.26 2.61 18.13 65.01 5.64 29.35
Private For-Profit ** ** ** 29.95 13.72 56.34
Total 83.31 2.25 14.44 67.03 5.40 27.58

 

**Results that include counts < 50 are not displayed


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