While most community college students say they want to transfer to a four-year institution, transfer works in two directions, concludes a new National Student Clearinghouse report: Within six years, 14.4 percent of first-time students who started at a four-year institution in the fall of 2005 had enrolled at a two-year institution in the regular school year. More than half of reverse transfer students didn’t return to a four-year college or university. By the end of the six-year study period, two-thirds of reverse transfer students hadn’t earned a bachelor’s degree and were not enrolled in a four-year college or university. About half had dropped out, while the rest had earned a community college credential or were still enrolled at community college.
While reverse transfer to a community college isn’t a good route to a bachelor’s degree, four-year students who enroll in summer classes at a community college are more likely to earn a bachelor’s degree, reports Inside Higher Ed. “About 78 percent of students at four-year institutions who enrolled in a community college for a summer session and then returned to their original institution successfully earned a degree, according to the report, substantially outpacing the 58 percent graduation rate of those who never attended a community college.”