Transfer Student Characteristics Matter

Document Type


Publication Date



The purpose of this study was to identify and define profiles of transfer students and assess if there are different levels of student success (as measured by first semester GPA, retention, and graduation) associated with of those profiles. Using cluster analysis, four transfer student types were identified and labeled as follows: Old Hand at Transfer, Taking Care of Basics, Quick Return to 4-Year College (i.e., no community college experience), and Community or Technical College. The findings of this study suggest that different types of transfer students experience the first year at the “new” institution differently. Understanding different types of transfer students at a single institution can inform intervention strategies to enhance student success.