10 Colleges With the Most Transfer Students

Ryan Lytle

These schools attracted the most students looking for a change of scenery.

The U.S. News Short List, separate from our overall rankings, is a regular series that magnifies individual data points in hopes of providing students and parents a way to find which undergraduate or graduate programs excel or have room to grow in specific areas. Be sure to explore The Short List: College and The Short List: Grad School to find data that matters to you in your college or grad school search.

There are thousands of college students who make the decision to transfer schools each year. Some students are looking for a fresh start or a different academic program, while others may have started at a local school or community college to cut costs.

[Find out what students should know about transferring colleges.]

Among the 1,208 ranked colleges and universities that provided transfer student data to U.S. News, roughly 564,500 students enrolled in another institution in 2010. As students consider transferring, they should keep in mind that resources and transfer student populations vary by institution.

In 2010, colleges accepted and enrolled an average of 467 transfer students each, a number that falls thousands of students short of the average at the top 10 schools with the most enrolled transfer students in the country. Among those 10 schools that accepted and enrolled the most transfer students, an average of 4,532 students transferred from another college in 2010.

[Discover four tips to make transferring colleges easier.]

Arizona State University, the largest university in the country for undergraduate students, with an enrollment of 59,562, enrolled 6,158 transfer students in fall 2010--the largest population among schools that reported transfer data.

Schools in California and Florida were popular transfer destinations for students in 2010, as were several Texas institutions. Among the top 10 colleges for transfer students, four schools reside in the Lone Star State: University of Texas--Arlington, University of Houston, Texas A&M University--Commerce, and the University of North Texas.

[See a full list of colleges with the most transfer students.]

Schools that were designated by U.S. News as Unranked were not considered for this report. U.S. News did not calculate a numerical ranking for Unranked programs because the program did not meet certain criteria that U.S. News requires to be numerically ranked.

These 10 schools enrolled the most degree-seeking transfer students in 2010, according to school data reported to U.S. News:

School name Transfer students in fall 2010 Transfer acceptance rate U.S. News rank and category
Arizona State University 6,158 84.3% 132, National Universities
University of Central Florida 5,896 63.0% 177, National Universities
California State University--Northridge 4,477 51.9% 81, Regional Universities (West)
Florida International University 4,327 72.9% RNP*, National Universities
University of Texas--Arlington 4,315 91.4% RNP, National Universities
University of Houston 4,171 90.6% RNP, National Universities
California State University--Fullerton 4,165 37.5% 33, Regional Universities (West)
Texas A&M University--Commerce 4,165 94.6% RNP, National Universities
University of North Texas 3,891 75.8% RNP, National Universities
San Francisco State University 3,760 54.1% 48, Regional Universities (West)

*RNP denotes an institution that is ranked in the bottom one fourth of its rankings category. U.S. News calculates a rank for the school but has decided not to publish it.

Don't see your school in the top 10? Access the U.S. News College Compass to find admissions data, complete rankings, and much more.

U.S. News surveyed more than 1,800 colleges and universities for our 2011 survey of undergraduate programs. Schools self-reported a myriad of data regarding their academic programs and the makeup of their student body, among other areas, making U.S. News's data the most accurate and detailed collection of college facts and figures of its kind. While the data comefrom the schools themselves, these lists have no influence over U.S. News's rankings of Best Colleges or Best Graduate Schools.