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Are Four-Year Colleges “Blind” to High-Achieving Community College Students?

Community college has long been recognized as a cost-efficient ramp into a bachelor’s degree program. Unfortunately, many of the most prepared community college students don’t make it beyond their two-year institutions.

According to a recent report (“The Talent Blind Spot”) issued by the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program, each year more than 50,000 high-achieving and low- to moderate-income community college students – those with at least a 3.0 GPA – do not successfully transfer to a four-year school.

High-performing four-year institutions (i.e., schools with demonstrated higher graduation rates) are particularly guilty of ignoring successful community college students from low-income backgrounds. In fact, the Aspen Institute report looked at 290 colleges and universities that graduate at least 70% of students in six years – these institutions enroll far fewer community college transfer students than four-year institutions with lower graduation rates.

College transfer stats on a national level are not encouraging. From 2014 to 2016, the average fall enrollment for transfer students at four-year schools with at least a 70% graduation rate was only 18%. Across all four-year institutions that average is 32 %.

According to Rebecca Edbert, senior assistant director of admissions at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, community college transfer candidate students “may be nervous about financial aid, and many are first-gen and may not have had access to someone to talk to them about why it’s important to move on.”

Full post by Sydney Johnson at EdSurge: https://bit.ly/2tNjVqU

Full Aspen Institute report: https://bit.ly/2z3vPCH