NEBHE Presents Inaugural New England Transfer Guarantee Enrollment Report

By Emily Decatur and Sarah Kuczynski

NEBHE’s Transfer Initiatives team is excited to present the inaugural New England Transfer Guarantee Enrollment Report. The groundbreaking initiative is fully operationalized in the southern New England states of Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island as of 2021. The program enables eligible community college graduates to transfer into participating four-year institutions—admission guaranteed.

This report captures the first three semesters of student-level data between spring 2021 and spring 2022 in all three states. There is much to be gleaned from the initial report when it comes to understanding who is transferring through the Guarantee as well as how participating institutions are supporting them.

Key Findings

  • Guarantee students have an impressive track record of academic achievement. The average cumulative community college GPA for Guarantee students between spring 2021 and spring 2022 was a 3.33, which is well above the highest GPA threshold that participating institutions can select as Guarantee admissions criteria.
  • Guarantee students tend to enroll full-time upon transfer to participating institutions. Because of the strong association between full-time enrollment and desirable vertical transfer outcomes, it was reassuring to see that over three-fourths (77%) of Guarantee students in this inaugural reporting period are enrolling full-time.
  • Guarantee students are consistently being awarded significant institutional scholarships. One of the major innovations of this initiative is the way it opens up consideration for substantial institutional scholarships to include community college transfer students. Guarantee students who enrolled between spring 2021 and spring 2022 were awarded, in sum, well over $4.5 million dollars in institutional scholarships and grants ($4,566,131, to be precise). With maximum awards in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island coming in at approximately $34,000, $57,000, and $20,000, respectively, it seems clear to us that institutions are taking the Guarantee’s emphasis on affordability very seriously.
  • Guarantee students are diverse. Community college students trend on the older side, and the Guarantee students analyzed in this inaugural enrollment report trend similarly–with a median age of 26 (with notable variation based on full-time versus part-time enrollment status). Perhaps more interesting given the image of especially independent institutions of New England as very white, 44% of this group of Guarantee students were identified as BIPOC in the data participating institutions submitted to NEBHE for the spring 2021 to spring 2022 terms.

Initially funded by the Teagle Foundation and the Davis Educational Foundation, this project has secured additional support from both the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations and the Balfour Foundation, which signed on to help NEBHE scale the Guarantee to the northern New England states of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont—a process that’s currently underway.

Emily Decatur is senior program manager and Sarah Kuczynski is assistant program manager of NEBHE’s Transfer Initiatives.


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