10 Colleges With the Most New Transfer Students Enrolled

Delece Smith-Barrow

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Any student feeling alone after transferring to a new school - where they have to find new friends and understand a new campus layout - is likely anything but.

A third of students transferred at least once within five years during their higher education experience, according to a 2012 report from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. The report tracked student mobility from more than 3,300 institutions from fall 2006 through summer 2011. Transfer rates were comparable for full- and part-time students.

The average number of enrolled, new transfer students at a school during fall of 2011 is 472, according to data collected from more than 1,200 schools by U.S. News in the spring of 2012. More than 575,000 students enrolled as transfers during that time.

Many of these students landed in California, Florida and Texas. Of the top 10 universities that have the most transfer students, nine of these schools are evenly split between the three states.

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Among the three California State universities, Sacramento had the largest percentage of transfer students accepted: 86.8 percent. Fullerton, with 3,532 transfer students enrolled in fall of 2011, had the least transfer students of the top 10 list. New to the list is University of South Florida, with 3,553 new transfer students.

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With 6,776 students who started college elsewhere, Arizona State University - which has the largest undergraduate population in the country - had the most new transfer students. Of the schools that reported transfer data to U.S. News, two had only one new transfer; three reported no new transfer students enrolled that fall.

Below is a list of the 10 schools with the most degree-seeking transfer students. Unranked schools, which did not meet certain criteria required by U.S. News to be numerically ranked, were not considered for this report.

School name New transfer students enrolled in fall 2011 New transfer acceptance rate U.S. News rank and category
Arizona State University 6,776 87.6% 139, National Universities
University of Central Florida 6,324 60.9% 174, National Universities
California State University--Northridge 4,962 47.7% 68, Regional Universities (West)
Florida International University 4,536 70.7% RNP*, National Universities
University of Houston 4,093 87% 184, National Universities
Texas State University--San Marcos 3,828 90.1% 46, Regional Universities (West)
University of North Texas 3,650 72.5% RNP, National Universities
California State University--Sacramento 3,556 86.8% 62, Regional Universities (West)
University of South Florida 3,553 59.7% 170, National Universities
California State University--Fullerton 3,532 44.6% 31, 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 information on transfer students, complete rankings and much more. School officials can access historical data and rankings, including of peer institutions, via U.S. News Academic Insights.

U.S. News surveyed more than 1,800 colleges and universities for our 2012 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 U.S. News uses much of this survey data to rank schools for our annual Best Colleges rankings, the data can also be useful when examined on a smaller scale. U.S. News will now produce lists of data, separate from the overall rankings, meant to provide students and parents a means to find which schools excel, or have room to grow, in specific areas that are important to them. While the data come from the schools themselves, these lists are not related to, and have no influence over, U.S. News's rankings of Best Colleges or Best Graduate Schools. The transfer student data above are correct as of July 16, 2013.