Understanding the Transfer Student Experience

The transfer student population is growing in higher education institutions in the United States (Johnson, 1987). Consequently, institutions of higher education need to better understand and support this rising student population. The purpose of this study is to understand the experiences of transfer students at a public, rural, commuter Hispanic-serving institution. This study was guided by Schlossberg’s (1981) transition theory. Six participants engaged in one-on-one interviews, with four of the participants identifying as female and one as male. The four themes emerged from this study including self-reliance, support services, relationships, and commuter versus living on campus. The four themes mentioned contributed to students lived experiences as transfers. Limitations of the study, recommendations for further research, and programs are also addressed.