PEDAR: Executive Summary  The Road Lsss Traveled? Students Who Enroll in Multiple Institutions
Beginning Postsecondary Students
Relationship of Specific Variables to Persistence, Attainment, and Time to Degree
Bachelor's Degree Recipients
Research Methodology
Full Report (PDF)
Executive Summary (PDF)

Attending more than one postsecondary institution during the course of undergraduate enrollment is a common practice. Among students who enrolled in postsecondary education for the first time in 1995–96, 40 percent had attended more than one institution as of 2001, while among 2001 college graduates, nearly 60 percent had done so. As would be expected, students who began their postsecondary education in a community college were more likely to transfer than those who began in 4-year institutions, because community college students typically must transfer to earn a bachelor’s degree. Nevertheless, about one-quarter of those students who started in 4-year institutions had transferred as of 2001, and for them, transfer was associated with lower persistence rates. Among 1999–2000 bachelor’s degree recipients, attending more than one institution (or more than two institutions for those who began in community colleges), transferring, and co-enrolling were each associated with longer average time to completion of their bachelor’s degrees.

When taking risk status and other related variables into account, multivariate analyses of beginning postsecondary students who began their postsecondary education in a 4-year institution with a bachelor’s degree goal indicated a negative association between transfer and persistence. That is, among these students, those who had transferred were less likely than those who had not transferred to attain a degree or be enrolled in 4-year institutions 6 years after first enrolling in postsecondary education. As with transfer, beginning postsecondary students who began their postsecondary studies in a 4-year institution and who attended a community college at some time during their enrollment were less likely to persist for 6 years or to graduate than their counterparts who had not attended a community college. In contrast, beginning students who had ever co-enrolled were more likely to persist or attain a bachelor’s degree than those who had not.

Research Methodologynext section