Do Community College Students Benefit When Transferring with Other Transfers? A Cross-Section Peer Effects Analysis
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Nutting, Andrew W.
Using grouped data, Ehrenberg and Smith (2004) found that community college students who transfer to four-year colleges have higher graduation rates when attending four-year campuses with large shares of transfer students. I test this hypothesis with student-level data and control for heterogeneity among transfer students. “Traditional” transfers—transfers who spend two or more years at community college—are the majority of community college transfers, and graduate at higher rates when attending campuses with larger shares of traditional transfer students. However, this effect is not significant when I omit students who have not declared a major at a late point in their academic careers from the estimations, or when I omit one outlier campus with a large number of transfer students with undeclared majors from the estimations. I also find that traditional transfers have significantly lower graduation rates when they declare majors in departments with large shares of traditional transfers. This last finding is robust to multiple specifications.
higher education; transfer students; academic performance
Required Publisher Statement: Published by the Cornell Higher Education Research Institute, Cornell University.