Transferability of Postsecondary Credit Following Student Transfer or Coenrollment

By Betsy Prueter

According to a report recently released by the National Center for Education Statistics, 35% of (first-time/full-time) undergraduates enrolled in at least two colleges over a six year period. 39% of these students did so without transferring any credits from their original institutions.

Among the report’s other findings:

  • Of the 35% of students who transferred between institutions, 21% transferred once and 11% more than once.
  • Of the students who transferred, 39% transferred no credits, 28% transferred some credits, and 32% transferred all credits.
    • On average, students lost about 13 credits when transferring.
  • Most transfers originated from public, two-year colleges and nearly all (90%) credit transfer opportunities occurred between institutions that were regionally (not nationally) accredited.
  • Students with higher GPAs had better success transferring credits from one institution to another.
  • Transferring from a four-year institution to a two-year institution (“reverse transfer”) resulted in fewer numbers of credits being accepted, as did a “horizontal transfer” (transferring between a four-year and a four-year or between a two-year and a two-year).
  • The best chances students had for transferring credits was transferring from a two-year to a four year institution.