Education Approach to Improving its College Transfer Success

Last Updated:
May 24, 2023
Brian Wallace

Transfer success is critical to the state of Kentucky’s educational goal of having 60% of their population with a postsecondary credential/degree by 2030. 


There are a couple of reasons a student could enroll for a transfer - save money and make money. The college cost is drastically reduced when a student attends community college for an associate degree and then transfers to a university for a bachelor’s degree. On the other hand, students go on to have higher incomes if they have completed a bachelor’s degree after receiving an associate degree. 


The success of a transfer relies heavily on the race and background of the student. It is thus an equity issue with white students twice as likely to transfer compared to Black and Hispanic students. Furthermore, students from higher income families are twice as likely to transfer as compared to students from lower income families. That said, this equity issue can be turned into a successful transfer by introducing college-level benefits early for Black and Hispanic students.


Therefore, connecting the path from the community colleges to universities is vital for transfer success. In Kentucky during 2020-21, transfers from KCTCS to universities went up by 2% while nationally, the transfers declined by 8%. 


The state of Kentucky has three major points as their vision to make transfers - Center student’s needs above all else, prioritize efforts to strengthen institutional collaboration, and remove obstacles for seamless transfers.

Transfer success
Source: Kentucky Student Success Collaborative

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