transfer students

Recruiting College Transfer Students on the WWW

Marketing and recruiting college transfer students is not easy.   So many institutions are promoting transfer strategies and tactics trying to fill seats.  It's a crowded market and getting more difficult each day that passes.  There are many reasons for this wave change from the rising alternative online programs to the expansion of larger, well positioned institutions marketing in your backyard.  What can you do about it?

Transfer students are not a one-size-fits-all target audience. There are many types of transfer students from adults returning to college as they seek to retrain or change careers to military learners re-entering the labor market.  There are millions of community college students seeking to transfer and finish their four-year degree.   Depending upon your location and proximity to other institutions, the answer may be in partnerships and expanding pathways.

From advertising on highway billboards to the back panels of public transportation, colleges and universities are stretching their recruiting dollars to unearth new transfer prospects.  We have seen some schools advertise in local pubs, present short TV spots on cable channels and send mailers to local communities.  

What's common with all transfer students is the need to search for colleges and universities that understand their unique needs and value their difference.   AcademyOne has supported and studied thousands of transfer students all over the world.  Most attempt to transfer to an institution close to home or work.  They gravitate to transfer friendly institutions who cater to their needs.  What does it mean to be transfer friendly?

Are you a transfer friendly institution?

"Transfer friendly" colleges and universities provide services, course scheduling, advising and tuition models that are accessible and easy to follow.  Transfer students are given comfort before they enroll comparing alternatives including how will prior learning transfer and count.   Many institutions suggest they offer generous transfer credit policies along with thousands of course equivalencies, so how can you differentiate?   AcademyOne has four platforms that can help you:

#1 CollegeTransfer.Net National Transfer Portal

CollegeTransfer.Net brings together a community of institutions focused on supporting college transfer and academic credit portability.   CollegeTransfer.Net helps translate the disparate processes that often confuse students with variations, format and syntax.  As a clearinghouse of content, services and data, we are powering CollegeTransfer.Net to distinguish differences, while supporting goals for transparency.  Over 1.5 million prospective transfer students visit the portal per year.  

#2 Promote Guided Pathways with Community Colleges

AcademyOne's AdvisED is a unique transfer platform that can be provided to local community colleges loaded with transfer articulation agreements setup as guided pathways.  It helps promote automated and assisted guidance to your institution.  Put the power of automation to good use.  Help your target audience see how their studies will transfer and count by program of study.  Each guided pathway documents your requirements mapped to the source institution.    

#3 Assess Prior Learning with a Responsive Petition Process

AcademyOne's AdvancED platform provides an enterprise wide academic petition and credit management system.   Prior learning and assessment can reveal alot about a prospective learner.  Prospects and applicants visit your website with external learning sources, evidence of accomplishment and expectations that they will be treated in a fair and timely manner.   How do you service them?  Do you offer any tools to simulate how prior credit would transfer?  

#4 Present Mobile Responsive Transfer Guidance.

AcademyOne's WMCT Widget offers institutions a localized "will my course credits transfer" function similar to  The Widget helps step a learner through claiming prior learning credit and generating a transfer map that can be used with administrative and academic offices.  You must have an account on and setup course equivalency synchronization with AcademyOne.

#5 Prospective Students are Consumers Online

Don't assume the old way works.  Asking prospective learners to chase down information spread across numerous web page links will not help your cause.  Today, we expect web sites to serve us like Amazon.  Asking them to browse long pages, press lots of keystrokes and attempt to read desktop designed web pages on their mobile phone will chase most away.   Many transfer pages are filled with abbrieviations and jargon.  Address your interface orientation.  Unify the focus.  Bridge administrative and academic services they need.  Share guidance information that invites the prospective learner to engage and be empowered to find what they are looking for.  Test your web presence with students and respond to their feedback.  Don't assume your web presence it is good enough in today's online world.     


AcademyOne specializes in transfer guidance tools to assist prospective and enrolled students.  Does your approach to transfer services impede or help prospective students address their questions?  Keep your web pages focused on the concerns of transfer students using videos, accurate policies and an open invitation to connect with a transfer advisor.  These options can be promoted on CollegeTransfer.Net's Transfer Profile or with content shared on your website Transfer Center pages.  

Suggested Resources
AdvisED™ Technology for Developing, Publishing and Enabling Learners to Follow Guided Pathways with Real-Time-Progress

AdvancED™ Technology for Credit Management and Petition Assessment

ArticulatED Technology for Multi-Institutional Transfer Articulation Portal and CMS