Student Transfer: A Check on New England Progress

By Emily Decatur

Higher education students in the U.S. have been transferring at record levels. Today, more than two-thirds who earn bachelor’s degrees from four-year institutions have changed colleges at least once, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. However, the U.S. Department of Education reported in 2015 that on average, students who transfer lose 13 credits already earned and paid for. The impact of lost credit on students is enormous and contributes to students taking an average of five or more years to earn a four-year degree.

Student transfer is a vital part of the New England higher education landscape. The New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE) has been studying and reporting on changes in state transfer policy over recent years. In 2014, NEBHE published On the Move: Supporting Student Transfer followed by New England Fast Facts–Student Transfer.

A new NEBHE brief titled Student Transfer in New England: Are We Making Progress? depicts New England state-level transfer policies, highlights best practices throughout the region and includes recommendations for further advancement.

NEBHE wanted to determine if states in the region were making progress since the 2014 On the Move report in developing policies and practices that:

• Facilitate transfer
• Mitigate credit loss
• Offer students who began at a community college and transferred to a four-year institution the opportunity to earn an associate degree through “reverse transfer.”



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