Exploring Equity in Transfer Receptivity, Enrollment, and Outcomes in North Carolina Public Universities


  • Sandra L Dika UNC Charlotte
  • Marah C. Lambert University of North Carolina at Charlotte
  • Leonardo Herrera University of North Carolina at Charlotte


While vertical transfer represents access to baccalaureate degree attainment, many transfer students follow inefficient pathways and have lower completion rates. We conducted a descriptive exploratory case study of institutions in the University of North Carolina (UNC) system to characterize equity in transfer environment, enrollment, and outcomes. Our study is framed by the concept of transfer receptivity and research on experiences and outcomes of vertical transfer in North Carolina. We compiled a dataset using several public data sources (UNC interactive dashboards, Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, Carnegie Classifications, institutional websites) to include data on transfer-related institutional supports, as well as transfer student enrollment, GPA, and graduation rates. Our analysis approach focused on characterizing transfer enrollment, outcomes, and receptivity, and examining the intersections of these characteristics. We identify areas for further data exploration, and implications for policies and practice to promote greater equity and inclusion in the NC vertical transfer process.