The New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE) is launching a new interstate initiative to facilitate transfer from community colleges to out-of-state bachelor’s degree programs offered under NEBHE’s Regional Student Program (RSP), also known as Tuition Break.
NEBHE’s RSP Community College Transfer Initiative is supported by a four-year $300,000 grant from the Lloyd G. Balfour Foundation.
Through the RSP Tuition Break, New England residents are eligible to be charged significantly less than the regular out-of-state tuition when they enroll at out-of-state public institutions in the six-state region to pursue approved degree programs not offered by their home-state public institutions. These include more than 1,100 bachelor’s RSP programs.
The RSP Community College Transfer Initiative seeks to address the needs of community college students, who lack information or easy access to transfer opportunities through the RSP.
Almost 40% of students at New England colleges are enrolled at community colleges. NEBHE’s transfer initiative will target those students who stand to benefit from the reduced tuition options available to them under the RSP on the bachelor’s degree level and develop clear pathways to guide community college students to out-of-state four-year programs.
Through the initiative, NEBHE plans to increase the number of community college students transferring into RSP-guided bachelor’s degree programs by 500 over the four-year grant period. Projected tuition savings are expected to average $8,900 per student, or a total of $4.5 million per year.
NEBHE will develop an informational outreach campaign targeted to community college students considering transfer to a four-year institution as well as 20 structured RSP community college transfer pathways to four-year institutions in fields that are important to the New England’s economy.
According to NEBHE’s recent analysis of National Student Clearinghouse data:
- Four in 10 students who began college in New England transferred institutions at least once.
- The vast majority of students who transferred from community colleges did so before completing an associate degree.
- More than one in five students who transfer from community colleges enroll at out-of-state. Nationally, a significant portion of transfer students lose an average of 13 credits, and nearly 40% get no credit for completed courses. This costs students time and money and stalls their progress to earning a degree.
Policies and programs exist to minimize credit loss for students who transfer within a system or state in New England, but none exist to advance the transfer process for students who cross New England’s state lines.