Research in Higher Education

, Volume 49, Issue 5, pp 403–419 | Cite as

How Do Transfers Survive after “Transfer Shock”? A Longitudinal Study of Transfer Student Departure at a Four-Year Institution



Prompted by the notion of “Transfer Shock”, numerous studies examined academic performance of transfer students at senior institutions. However, few studies are found that examine how the varying nature of semester GPAs impact subsequent persistence behavior of transfer students after the initial drop in their college GPAs. Using an institutional data set, this study longitudinally investigated departure behavior of transfer students at a senior institution. Particular attention was given to how entry at different times and semester GPAs affected transfer student departure. Results indicate that during their first semester, sophomore and junior transfer students were 73% less likely to depart than freshman transfer students. After controlling for explanatory variables, higher semester GPAs were positively associated with higher persistence rates throughout the observation period.


Transfer students Academic persistence Event history modeling 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and ResearchThe University of MemphisMemphisUSA

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