This site presents data from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center (NSCRC) on the number of students at public institutions who transferred in the United States and its territories both in-state and out-of-state for the 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014 cohorts. Each cohort of students is made up of first-time students of any age who began their postsecondary studies in one of these years. Cohorts include both full-time and part-time students, and exclude students who received any degree or certificate from a two- or four-year institution prior to 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014 respectively. By design, the data is intended to provide a snapshot of student transfer patterns in the US and its outlying territories. Note that it tracks the first-time transfer only and thus does not reflect the total number of transfers by cohort, given that 45 percent of these students will transfer more than once. For more information on NSCRC methodology, cohort identification, transfer outcome, and small cell suppression click here. If you have questions, check out the FAQs here.
Student Transfer Destinations By State FAQs
How is a cohort defined for this data? A cohort is all of the first-time, degree-seeking, students
who enrolled in a public institution at the beginning of a certain fall term. Cohorts are tracked
over a six-year time period.
Who are the students in the cohorts? Degree-seeking students who enrolled in an institution in
the fall term with a starting enrollment date between July 1 and October 31 and have
completed at least one full-time-equivalent week of progress between August 15 and December
31. Students may not be dually enrolled in high school and college simultaneously in the
relevant fall, nor have a record of prior dual enrollment, and may not have earned any degree or
certificate prior to the enrollment in the relevant fall.
How is transfer defined and what does the number of transfers represent? Transfer is defined
as subsequent enrollment in a higher education institution different from the origin institution.
The data presented capture the extent to which students change institutions at least once, i.e.
they identify the first instances of student transfer. Additional enrollment changes occurring
after the first transfer are not captured (e.g. transfer to a third institution, returning to the origin
institution, etc.). Therefore, a student enrolling at a new institution for a short time then
returning to the origin institution is still categorized as a transfer. The number of transfers
represents the number of students in the relevant cohort who transferred to a different
institution at least once during the six- year period. It does not represent the total number of
students who transferred between institutions in any one year or combination of years.
Why is data suppressed? Some details may be suppressed to preserve anonymity and protect
the identity of individual institutions or individual students. Data for institutions is suppressed if
there are fewer than three institutions by entry state and sector (2-year and/or 4-year
institutions). Data for individual student transfers is suppressed if there are fewer than 10
students by state, sector, and year.
What is the data source? The data is from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.
Data includes only public institutions, both 2-year and 4-year. Institutions must have submitted
data to NSC for at least four years prior to being included in the data set for each cohort year.
What defines a 2-year and 4-year institution? Classification of a 2-year and 4-year institution is
based on IPEDS federal reporting. Note that in some cases IPEDS does classify schools that
award both 4-year degrees and degrees of less than four years (AA/AS, certificates) as 4-year
How many public institutions submitted data for each of the cohorts?