Keystone logo

How do Community College Students Perform at Elite Universities?

A new report finds that community college students flourish at elite schools -- they just have to get admitted first. Let's take a closer look.

Jan 27, 2019
  • Education
How do Community College Students Perform at Elite Universities?

College acceptances and rejections aren't as cut-and-dry as they seem. The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, an organization dedicated to helping exceptionally promising students in financial need, recently published a report which found that students who get admitted to elite and selective schools tend to do well and graduate within four years -- including community college students.

In fact, the report showed that community-college student transfer graduation rates either meet or exceed those of students who enroll at more elite schools on their first go-around. Their graduation rates are also higher than those who transfer from other four-year schools.

According to an article in The Atlantic, Jennifer Glynn, the director of research at the foundation said, "There is an underrepresentation issue." That is, selective and elite schools don't enroll a lot of transfer students, which means they do not enroll a lot of community college students, either.

Reporter Adam Harris writes, "Admissions officers are starting to notice, as evidenced by a 2018 National Association for College Admission Counseling report that found that roughly 90 percent of admissions counselors regard transfers as moderately or considerably important to enrollment goals. But it will likely take considerable gumption to push selective colleges to enroll more transfer students, if only because the status quo is so baked into admissions officers’ mindset."

He explains that organizations like Jack Kent Cooke and the American Talent Initiative are working hard on behalf of community college students who want to transfer to elite four-year institutions. This new report suggests they will thrive.

Are you a community college student seeking to transfer to an elite or highly selective institution? Tell us your story in the comments!