Thanks to an improved transfer pipeline, public universities in Virginia and Maryland are drawing more community college students, reports the Washington Post.
Community college transfers rose 36 percent in Maryland and 34 percent in Virginia from 2000 to 2008, outpacing overall college enrollment growth in those states. Transfers to the University of Virginia doubled in that time, to more than 280 annually, which represents just under 10 percent of the typical junior class. Transfers were up 17 percent at the University of Maryland, 27 percent at George Mason University and 53 percent at Towson University. Each of them accepts more than 1,000 transfers a year.
Transfer students are three times as likely as freshmen to come from low-income homes. Many have worked for several years, so they’re older than typical undergraduates. However, they complete a degree at the same rate as others.
In the past, community college students had trouble figuring out which credits would transfer to which universities for which majors.
Maryland higher-education leaders are rolling out new statewide two-year degrees, accepted at every public four-year college. An online database gives community college students the transfer value of each course.
Virginia’s community colleges have worked out transfer agreements with the state’s public universities.