Academic Commons

Reports

Do Students Benefit From Going Backward? The Academic and Labor Market Consequences of Four- to Two-Year College Transfer

Liu, Yuen Ting

Using public higher education data from one small state and using distance to the closest two-year college as an instrumental variable, this paper examines the effects of 4–2 transfer on “struggling” students, or those who earned less than a 3.0 grade point average in the first term. Results indicate that these 4–2 transfer students are more likely than similar non-transfer students to attain two-year college credentials (including associate degrees and long- and short-term certificates); the gain is concentrated in women who tend to enroll in health-related programs. What is more, struggling students who transfer to two-year colleges are no less likely than struggling, non-transfer students to earn a bachelor’s degree. Early employment outcomes also indicate that the labor market does not penalize 4–2 transfer behavior. Falsification tests show strong first stage results and no correlation between distance and socioeconomic indicators, which supports the use of distance as an instrumental variable for 4–2 transfer status. The findings indicate that 4–2 transfer can improve college completion for students struggling in four-year institutions.

Files

  • thumnail for capsee-do-students-benefit-from-going-backward.pdf capsee-do-students-benefit-from-going-backward.pdf application/download 837 KB Download File

More About This Work

Academic Units
Community College Research Center
Publisher
Community College Research Center, Teachers College, Columbia University
Series
CAPSEE Working Paper
Published Here
July 26, 2016
Academic Commons provides global access to research and scholarship produced at Columbia University, Barnard College, Teachers College, Union Theological Seminary and Jewish Theological Seminary. Academic Commons is managed by the Columbia University Libraries.