Tracking Transfer: State-by-State Outcomes
Community College and Four-Year Institutional Effectiveness in Broadening Bachelor's Degree Attainment
A bachelor’s degree is increasingly necessary for securing a job that pays a family-supporting wage, yet while most community college students aspire to transfer and complete a bachelor’s degree, too few make it through to this goal. In February 2024, CCRC, the Aspen Institute, and the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center released two reports detailing community college and four-year institutional effectiveness in broadening bachelor's degree attainment, providing the first-ever state-by-state transfer outcomes disaggregated by student race/ethnicity, neighborhood income, and age. This dashboard displays the state-by-state results presented in the 2024 Tracking Transfer reports.
Community College Outcome Definitions
- Data source and cohort definition. National Student Clearinghouse enrollment and degree records on first-time-in-college (FTIC), degree-seeking community college entrants in fall 2015, tracked for six calendar years. Cohorts exclude current high school dual enrollment, and with the exception of the Prior Dual Enrollment (PDE) Transfer Outcomes analysis, the FTIC cohort also excludes students with PDE.
- Transfer-out rate. The rate at which FTIC students who start at a community college transfer to a four-year institution within six calendar years of their community college entry. (Students in the fall 2015 cohort are tracked through August 2021.)
- Transfer-with-award rate. The rate at which FTIC students who transfer to a four-year institution within six years complete a certificate or associate degree at any institution prior to their earliest four-year-institution enrollment.
- Transfer-out bachelor’s completion rate. The rate at which transfer students earn a bachelor’s degree from any four-year institution within six years of their community college entry.
- Community college cohort bachelor’s completion rate. The rate at which FTIC students who start at a community college transfer to a four-year institution and earn a bachelor’s degree from any four-year institution within six years of their community college entry.
Four-Year Institution Outcome Definitions
- Data source and cohort definition. National Student Clearinghouse enrollment and degree records on undergraduate students who were enrolled for the first time at any public or private four-year institution in the 2015-16 academic year.
- Community college transfer student definition. We define a student as a community college transfer if their last enrollment prior to their start at the four-year institution was at a community college and the student started at the community college within six years prior to transferring in.
- Transfer-in retention rate. The percentage of students retained at the four-year institution into the second year after transferring in.
- Transfer-in bachelor’s completion rate. The percentage of transfer students who complete a bachelor’s degree at the receiving four-year institutions within four years after transferring in.
- Transfer representation across majors. The distribution of majors of bachelor’s degrees completed within six years after transferring in by community college transfer students, compared to the distribution of majors of bachelor’s degrees completed by non-transfer (first-time freshman) students within six years of beginning at the four-year institution.