Every year, hundreds of thousands of students start at community colleges hoping to transfer to a university later. It’s advertised as a cheaper path to a bachelor’s degree, an education hack in a world of ever-rising tuition costs.
Yet the reality is rarely that simple. For some students, the transfer process becomes a maze so confusing it derails their college plans.
Among nearly 1 million students who started at a community college in 2016, just one in seven earned a bachelor’s degree within six years, according to data from the National Student Clearinghouse.