Audra Page made a penny-wise decision to start her education at a community college before transferring to Texas State University-San Marcos, but her attempt to finesse an expensive higher education system ended up more frustrating than frugal.
More than half of all college students in Texas are enrolled at community colleges, but the transfer rate to four-year universities is a dismal 28 percent.
Part of the problem, higher education officials say, is the massive tangle of rules — called articulation agreements — that outline how courses transfer and count toward degrees.
Dominic Chavez, spokesman for the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, said there are “literally thousands and thousands” of articulation agreements between the state's 50 community college districts and 38 public universities. The state doesn't require or monitor the agreements, which often vary for each school and degree plan, he said.