5 Ways to Bring in Your Best Transfer Class Yet

While some transfer pathways are in decline, upward transfers -- students moving from a two-year college to a four-year college -- are up 2.6% according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. Here are five ways you can fill your transfer prospect pool.

Leverage Lists

Community College Grad Lists

These students often make up the largest portion of the transfer prospect pool and can be some of the highest yielding leads. The hurdle of brand awareness is less of an issue for these students, given the likelihood that they may already have a connection with your institution or a relationship with your students or faculty. Because many of these students already plan to obtain a four-year degree, leveraging directory information will allow you to present your institution to potentially high-yielding students through direct mail, email, and social targeting. Fostering good relationships with your local community colleges will make obtaining the list easier. To help frame your request to community college representatives, remember that the U.S. Department of Education does not consider sharing directory information a FERPA violation.

Collegefish/PTK Names

Consider purchasing select names of students who are most likely to succeed at a four-year institution. Many of these students are price sensitive and will be eligible for your top transfer merit scholarships.


In addition to community college grad lists and PTK/CollegeFish Blog, you may also include students who were previously interested in your institution. Target students who enrolled at a community college two years prior or reach out to students who didn’t enroll anywhere one-year prior and drop those names into your prospect pool.

Embrace Digital


To increase touchpoints and conversions on transfer search, your historically high-yielding and/or growth market community colleges can be geofenced, with ads served directly to individuals recently on those campuses who also match the demographic profile of an incoming transfer student. By geofencing community colleges, you are reaching potentially high-yielding students at what could be their point of decision. Though each marketing channel works in tandem to produce results, it’s much easier for a prospective student to submit a pre-filled lead form while scrolling through Facebook or Instagram than it is to follow a URL prompt on a postcard.

Custom and Affinity Audiences

Once you’ve acquired lists through all of the sources mentioned above, custom audiences can be built in social media platforms to serve ads directly to those students’ newsfeeds, stories, and more. Additionally, affinity audiences can be developed from these custom audiences to produce a completely new list of potential prospect profiles within the social platforms, whose interests and behaviors match those of your search list – widening your net and increasing the opportunity for conversions.

A succinct multi-channel transfer search campaign will provide an increase in your transfer enrollment figures. Clark Higher Ed has a proven method and track record of success as evidenced by a 52% increase in transfer students at Louisiana College. Contact us today to start your strategy to bring in your best transfer class yet.