The New Reverse Transfer

CAROL’S SUMMARY: The number of students transferring from four-year colleges to 2-year colleges has increased. Some have transferred due to financial hardship during this rough economy. Community colleges are cheaper and class sizes are typically smaller.

Community colleges can be an import stepping stone. It is extremely important to leave with an associate’s degree, because it makes it so much easier if you decide to go back and earn a baccalaureate degree. Reverse transfer students should still graduate with a mindset of success with a track record (4 year and 2 year combined) which show their accomplishments and point to their potential for real contributions in the world of work.

Questions to consider:
1. If you’re still in high school, have you decided what type of college you will go to?
2. Has this article affected your decision?
3. If you’re already in college, does this sound like an advantageous move for you? What will you save financially if you spend four years at a state college versus a community college?


February 18, 2009, From the Chronicle of Higher Education, February 18, 2009

Stephanie Jamiot is a community college transfer student, but not the kind one might expect. Instead of following the steady flow of students who move from two-year institutions to four-year institutions, she is one of a growing number of so-called “reverse transfers” who leave four-year universities to attend community college.

Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland — Ohio’s largest two-year institution and the one Jamiot currently attends — had an 11 percent increase in the number of “reverse transfers” this spring compared to last. These students mostly come from public and private institutions around Ohio. Nationally, the American Association of Community Colleges notes that a third of all two-year students previously attended a four-year institution. The recession has led to surge in community college enrollments this year, and some experts believe these “reverse transfers” are an important and sometimes overlooked portion of that growing student body at two-year institutions.

— David Moltz

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