(Source: Boston College)
Nowadays, the question "Where did you go to college?" might be answered in several parts. Growing numbers of students transfer from one college to the next (and the next and the next) in search of appropriate programs, sufficient funding, the right social mix and other conveniences.
Here are some bits and pieces from a recent New York Times story documenting this phenomenon:
These days, a majority of students take a similarly nomadic path to a degree; about 60 percent of students graduating from college attend more than one institution, a number that has risen steadily over at least the last two decades.
In large part, those numbers reflect the growing population of nontraditional-age students, adults who go to college later in life and often start at a two-year institution. But even traditional students like Ms. Madden – those who head to a four-year college right out of high school – are approaching the experience in a nontraditional way.
They transfer to get a more agreeable major or social life, or take classes at a college back home during the summer to get a leg up on the next year's credits. They take an online class, or earn credits during the year at a nearby community college where they find a required course cheaper, less demanding or at a more convenient hour. Or they do some of each.
College officials call it swirling, mix and match, cut and paste, grab and go. Whatever the term of art, it makes sense for the so-called millennial generation, students famously lacking in brand loyalty, used to having things their way, and can-do about changing anything they don't like. As with other commodities, students are looking for that magic combination of quality, affordability and convenience. They shun CD's to create their own iPod playlists; is it any surprise they shape their own course catalogs?
Of those who start their college careers at four-year institutions, about a third transfer for a desired program, according to a study released last May by the National Center for Education Statistics. Another third transfer for better location or more prestige, and almost 10 percent for financial reasons.
Read the full piece here.
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