Reporter’s notebook

Photo: Matthew Dembicki

  • Upward transfers decline
  • Help in obtaining a U.S. passport

Upward transfers decline

Undergraduate transfers among all types of higher education institutions dropped this spring, but it appears to be especially steep among community college students transferring to four-year institutions, according to a new report from the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC) Research Center.

After staying stable last year, the number of students moving from a two-year to a four-year institution dropped -11.6%, the report says. Overall, undergraduate transfer enrollment dropped another -6.9% over last year, resulting in a total two-year decline of -16% since the beginning of the pandemic, the center said.

“This constriction of a key path to bachelor’s degree attainment is very concerning,” Doug Shapiro, executive director of the NSC Research Center, said in a release. “Lower-income students seeking more-affordable degree options are being squeezed out.”

The center said it has seen a drop in upward transfer enrollment irrespective of age, gender and race/ethnicity. The declines also affected all four-year colleges, regardless of selectivity level, it said. The only transfer pathway that showed growth this spring was the four-year lateral transfer, growing 5% to partly recover the -8.8% drop last year.

Two-year lateral and reverse transfer enrollments both continued to decline this spring, the center said, although at a slower pace: -11.1% vs. -13.8% last spring for two-year lateral transfers; -4.4% vs. -17.1% last spring for reverse transfers.

The report is based on an analysis of 11.2 million undergraduate students, including 630,000 transfer students, as reported by nearly 90% of colleges as of March 24, 2022.

Help in obtaining a U.S. passport

Miami Dade College (MDC) will help 25 MDC students who have never had a U.S. passport get one free of charge.

MDC will join the second cohort of the Institute of International Education’s American Passport Project, which provides grants to U.S. colleges and universities so they can help students who are eligible for Pell grants get a U.S. passport. MDC officials said the program helps to expand access and study abroad opportunities to underrepresented college students.

Applicants need to meet diverse identity criteria, which may include belonging to a racial/ethnic minority, LGBTQIA+ students and gender diverse students, first-generation student, students with disabilities, nontraditional age students and more.

About the Author

Matthew Dembicki
Matthew Dembicki edits Community College Daily and serves as associate vice president of communications for the American Association of Community Colleges.