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Overcoming Transfer Enrollment Declines

During the pandemic, transfer between community colleges and universities shrank by 11.5 percent. These transfer numbers—which reflect the overall enrollment decline at community colleges of 17 percent—are unlikely to rebound without major intervention. And this isn’t just a community college issue: four-year colleges and universities hold a significant stake here. On average, one in five new university students come via community college transfer pathways, many from chronically underserved Black, Latinx and lower-income communities. Faced with the twin challenges of enrollment and equity, university leaders across the country are issuing a charge: fix transfer.