Transfer Shock

Predicting Academic Success after Transition

  • Charles Clausen
  • Roger D. Wessel
Keywords: Transfer students, transfer shock, transfer ecstasy, posttransfer GPA, 6-year graduation, Ball State University


Transfer students have gained the attention of higher education administrators and policy-makers because of the high level of transfer activity (National Center for Educational Statistics, 2011). The phenomenon known as transfer shock is the overall integration difficulty transfer students face (Hills, 1965). This study examined Ball State University (BSU) transfer students in their first year and how to predict posttransfer GPA and 6-year graduation based on previous institution cumulative GPA, age, sex, previous institution type, and BSU college. Regression analyses were used to make predictive models for posttransfer GPA and 6-year graduation. The sample consisted of 1,857 entering transfer students. Previous institution cumulative GPA averaged 2.994, while the average posttransfer GPA was 1.681. Nearly 60% of the sample achieved 6-year graduation. Each model found most of the observed variables to be statistically significant predictors. When applied to the data, the 6-year graduation prediction model correctly predicted 6-year graduation 79.6% of the time.


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How to Cite
Clausen, C., & Wessel, R. D. (2015). Transfer Shock: Predicting Academic Success after Transition. Journal of College Orientation, Transition, and Retention, 23(1).
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