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January 3, 2013
Round Rock, TX — TG's "A Brief Look at Transfer Students and Financial Aid," calls into question the belief that bachelor's degree-seeking students can keep college costs down by starting at a community college. Instead, the report reveals that students who start at a two-year college and transfer and graduate from a four-year university borrow as often and as much as "native" students who begin at the university level.
For those students who borrowed, the cumulative student loan debt of both transfer students and native students at public four-year universities was about $20,000. In the private four-year school sector, the cumulative loan amount borrowed by transfer students was approximately $27,000, compared to $25,000 for native students.
"Many students have traditionally been guided to follow the transfer route, with the assumption it will help them save on certain college costs," explained Carla Fletcher, TG senior research analyst and the report's author. "Unfortunately, we found this to be untrue, and in fact, the transfer route may end up creating significant barriers for some students."
Key findings in the report also include:
"We hope this information encourages discussions among community college and university officials about the transfer path," said Fletcher. "It definitely points out that more help is needed to ensure transfer students are given adequate financial aid to see them successfully achieve their college goals with minimal debt."
The report uses data from the National Center for Educational Statistics' Baccalaureate and Beyond Longitudinal Study (2009), and focuses on those students who graduated during the 2007-2008 academic year.
TG promotes educational access and success so that students can realize their college and career dreams. As a public, nonprofit corporation, TG offers resources to help students and families plan and prepare for college, learn the basics of money management, and repay their federal student loans.