May Articles of Interest for Higher Education Professionals

The Association for Institutional Research shared the following publications of interest for higher education professionals. Click on each of the titles to access full articles. The synopsis of each article is credited to the Electronic AIR Newsletter (April edition).

Transfer and Mobility: A National View of Pre-Degree Student Movement in Postsecondary Institutions

The second in a series of Signature Reports from the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC) Research Center, Transfer and Mobility: A National View of Pre-Degree Student Movement in Postsecondary Institutions examines students’ increasingly complex transfer patterns. Most data analyses currently view students as progressing linearly through college at one institution and treating students who do not receive a degree at that institution as dropouts. NSC found one-third of the fall 2006 first-time students changed or transferred institutions before earning a degree, a rate consistent across all types of institutions excluding the for-profit sector. Of those students who transfer, 37% transfer in their second year, and 22% transfer as late as their fourth or fifth years. In addition, 25% transfer more than one time. Given the mobility of students, the authors suggest postsecondary education should investigate new approaches and metrics to better inform students and institutions about the range of successful enrollment patterns.

The Role of Pell Grants in Access, Persistence, and Completion

The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) released the Issue Brief, The Role of Pell Grants in Access, Persistence, and Completion that examines the shifting policy emphasis from college access to college completion and student success, and the potential consequences for students. The brief suggests access itself is not enough to ensure attainment of a higher education credential, and while Pell grants and student aid programs reduce financial barriers, low- and moderate-income students continue to struggle with persistence and completion. It questions whether the benefits of education should be measured in terms of individual success or as a return on societal investment. The report also explores several approaches to help improve student success.

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