CCBC joins 20 colleges and universities nationwide in official launch of the Transfer Scholars Network

Nov 17, 2022 | by Lisa Harlow | 443.840.4668 (office) | 443.610.3246 (cell)

Community College of Baltimore County is pleased to be a part of the official launch of the Transfer Scholars Network, a program dedicated to expanding community college transfer to the nation’s highly selective colleges and universities.

Led by the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program with support from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, TSN aims to expand the national transfer pipeline to high-graduation-rate four-year institutions. To achieve that goal, TSN facilitates direct connections between high-achieving community college students and senior admissions representatives at 13 highly selective colleges and universities in the American Talent Initiative.

“CCBC is proud to be a part of the Transfer Scholars Network,” said CCBC President Sandra Kurtinitis. “When we joined the small-scale pilot program in January 2021, we saw the value of participating in initiatives such as TSN. We have many talented students, and this program will provide them with all the resources they need to transfer to any of the top four-year institutions in the country.”

Four-year partners include members of the Ivy League, small liberal arts colleges, and major research universities. Together, CCBC joins partner schools in providing students in TSN with exclusive webinars and resources, generous financial aid, and ongoing support as they navigate the transfer admissions and financial aid process.

“There is incredible talent within community colleges, including high-achieving students who should, based on their merits, have access and opportunity to take advantage of all that the leading colleges have to offer,” says Tania LaViolet, director at the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program. “We cannot have true equity in higher education if there is not a path for students across the nation to transfer from community colleges to highly selective institutions.”

Students are nominated for TSN based on eligibility criteria including demonstrated academic achievement, financial need, holistic life and professional experiences, and transfer readiness. Once they receive personalized nomination letters, they submit a short application to the TSN portal and are quickly connected with senior admissions leaders at the four-year partners.

After two phases of the pilot, TSN has engaged 372 students from eight community colleges. The overwhelming majority of TSN students have a GPA of 3.5 or higher and are from lower-income backgrounds and/or communities of color. Even in its earliest stages, the initiative shows promise in diversifying the student pipeline at the nation’s top universities. After its first full admissions cycle in Spring 2022, at least 20 percent of TSN students who applied to four-year partner colleges received offers of admission, outpacing the average admission rate of 15.6 percent at these schools.

Building on the early success of the pilot, the next phase of the Transfer Scholars Network will include increased commitments to full affordability and financial aid for students, feature more partner-led workshops, and provide additional webinars and transfer resources for both students and institutions. The initiative will also expand to new community colleges and four-year institutions across the country this cycle, forming a growing network devoted to increasing opportunity for more transfer students.

“Over the last two years, Aspen CEP’s Transfer Scholars Network has been diligently testing and scaling promising ideas from a network of innovative and mission-driven institutions,” said Giuseppe Basili, executive director of the Cooke Foundation. “We’re proud to help bring those learnings to light and amplify their impact in the years ahead.”


About the Community College of Baltimore County (
Since 1957, CCBC has opened the doors to accessible, affordable, high-quality education empowering generations of area residents to transform their lives and the lives of others. Each year, nearly 50,000 students enroll at the college’s main campuses, extension centers and online to make their starts, earn degrees, launch and build careers. CCBC offers the region’s most expansive selection of degree, certificate and workplace certification programs that prepare students for transfer, job entry and career advancement in such industries as business, education, health care, information technology, cybersecurity, construction, and transportation. Designated as the “Best Community College” among the Maryland Daily Record’s 2022 Reader Rankings, CCBC is also nationally recognized as a leader in innovative learning strategies and among the nation’s top associate degree producers.

The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program supports colleges and universities in their quest to achieve a higher standard of excellence, delivering credentials that unlock life-changing careers and strengthen our economy, society, and democracy. We know it takes visionary college leaders to achieve this higher standard and we make it our mission to equip them with the knowledge, skills, and research-backed tools to inspire change, shift practice, and advance the capacity of colleges to deliver excellent and equitable student outcomes. For more information, visit our website and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is dedicated to advancing the education of exceptionally promising students who have financial need. Since 2000, the Foundation has awarded over $250 million in scholarships to nearly 3,200 students from 8th grade through graduate school, along with comprehensive educational advising and other support services. The Foundation has also provided $125 million in grants to organizations that serve such students.

The American Talent Initiative is a Bloomberg Philanthropies-supported collaboration between the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program, Ithaka S+R, and more than 130 top colleges and universities nationwide committed to enrolling, supporting, and graduating more than 50,000 talented students from lower-income backgrounds by 2025. To realize this milestone, ATI facilitates practice-sharing, and communications campaigns around presidential leadership, affordability, community college transfer, student success and equity in the academic experience. With this support, members can progress toward aspirational lower-income student enrollment goals and minimize equity-based graduation gaps by 2025. To learn more about ATI, visit

Tags: Press, Partners, Transfer, Transferring