The Ivy Coach Daily

November 10, 2022

Community College Transfers to the Ivies

A piece up on Forbes highlights a new effort for top universities to appeal to community college transfer students.

While many community college students may view the Ivy League institutions and other similarly elite schools as too far out of reach when applying as a transfer, they’d be wrong to think so. Of course, they’ll need top grades and profiles and all. But to suggest that America’s top universities, including the Ivies, are out of reach for community college transfers is to ignore a seminal purpose of the transfer admissions process for these schools: to further diversify their student bodies. You see, just as these schools admirably seek to admit veterans of America’s military in the transfer admissions process, they seek to admit students applying from community college who are often low-income students and/or first-generation college students and/or underrepresented minorities. Heck many transfer applicants with military backgrounds even hail from community colleges. And, lo and behold, it might just be getting a little bit easier in the years to come for community college transfers to earn admission to certain top schools.

As Michael T. Nietzel writes for Forbes in a piece entitled “Elite Universities Aim To Attract More Community College Transfer Students Via New Pipeline,” “A new effort to increase the number of community college students transferring to some of America’s most elite colleges and universities was launched today, focused in particular on increasing enrollment by students from lower-income backgrounds and communities of color. The Transfer Scholars Network (TSN), an initiative managed by the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program and supported by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, brings together several high-profile community colleges and some of the nation’s most selective four-year colleges in an attempt to open a new pipeline for transfer students.”

And which elite universities are member-institutions of the Transfer Scholars Network? The TSN boasts Amherst College, Bowdoin College, Cornell University, Johns Hopkins University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Mount Holyoke College, Pomona College, Princeton University, Rice University, Spelman College, Smith College, Swarthmore College, Williams College, and Yale University in its ranks. So that three Ivy League colleges and several other top institutions. Indeed in the months to come, we would not be surprised to see other elite universities join this group. And why? Because, remember, transfer students are essentially data ghosts and these schools are always seeking to diversify their student bodies without hurting their rankings. High-achieving community college transfers satisfy this objective.

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