This is the time of year when the flow of first-year applications into university enrollment offices slows to a trickle and admission counselors begin reaching out for much-needed transfer prospects. That’s why the timing was perfect for last month’s widely attended, Capture Higher Ed webinar, Transfer Mania: Tips to Meet Your Transfer Student Goals.
During the presentation, Capture’s Senior Enrollment Advisor Jamie Gleason was joined by Phi Theta Kappa’s Associate Director of College and Transfer Relations Heather Yush to discuss strategies for building a smart and sustainable transfer pool without breaking an admission office’s budget.
Founded in 1918, Phi Theta Kappa is a non-profit, academic honors society with more than 3.5 million members that is one of the few organizations in the country fully focused on the success of transfer students, particularly from the community college sector.
“We want to show you the opportunities that potentially exist in this market of transfer students,” Gleason says at the outset of the webinar. “We’ll talk about how that marketplace has changed in the recent past and, maybe, the not-so-recent past.”
Why should transfer enrollment be on everyone’s mind? Yush offers two broad reasons:
- Shifting Demographics: Declining birthrates since the mid-2000s mean fewer 18- to 22-year-olds in 2025. Also, populations of high school students are declining in many large regions of the country.
- Market Share Statistics: Nearly 50% of all college students start their college education at a community college and more than 80% of incoming community college students express a desire to transfer. But only 33% actually transfer within six years and 14% of the entire cohort of “entering community college students” earn a bachelor’s degree within six years.
The Bottom Line: Transfers are a high yield population that can help with a university’s diversity and return on investment, Yush says.
“If you can get [transfer students] to apply and admit them,” she points out, “about two-thirds of the time they’re going to enroll compared to about 28 percent of the time for a freshman.”
Listen to Yush and Gleason’s entire conversation by clicking on the recording, Transfer Mania: Tips to Meet Your Transfer Student Goals.
By Kevin Hyde, Senior Content Writer, Capture Higher Ed