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Our History

The Clearinghouse's unique history as higher education's long-time trusted partner can't be duplicated. That's because it was the higher education community itself that founded the Clearinghouse as a nonprofit organization in 1993.

We were created to streamline the then time-consuming and complex enrollment reporting process for student borrowers. Initially called the National Student Loan Clearinghouse, we worked with the nation's colleges and universities to simplify and automate student record verifications. This process ensured that whenever students changed colleges, they retained the deferred status on their student loans. Together, we transformed a massive manual process into a fully automated system. Since then, the Clearinghouse has grown to a network of more than 3,600 colleges and universities.

Based on our unprecedented success at transforming student enrollment reporting, we were approached by our institutional partners to expand our services. As a result, in 2000, we changed our name to the National Student Clearinghouse to reflect the school-requested services we introduced that year, DegreeVerify℠ and EnrollmentVerify℠, which automate student verifications, as well as, StudentTracker® (formerly known as EnrollmentSearch℠), our nationwide educational research service released in 1999.

In 2004, again at the urging of schools, we launched Transcript Ordering℠ to enable students to submit transcript requests online 24/7, which is now part of our Data Exchange Services. Today, the Clearinghouse is the nation's largest provider of postsecondary transcript services. And, through our Data Exchange Services, we offer unmatched experience in electronic student record exchanges: over one billion transactions a year. Also in 2004, we extended our educational research services to high schools and districts, as StudentTracker® for High Schools. These research services help educators track the success of their students and improve education outcomes.

The National Student Clearinghouse® Research Center™ was launched in 2010 to better inform the education community and policymakers about student educational pathways nationwide. Since 2011, our Research Center has regularly published free reports on student enrollment, movement, and other important student outcomes – all enabled by the unique data resources provided to us by our cooperating institutions.

In response to requests from our higher education clients to find more cost-effective ways to help them serve their students better, we recently introduced two new groundbreaking solutions. In 2014, we launched eTranscripts, developed with Ellucian, which — for the first time — fully automates electronic transcript processing and delivery, enabling hands free secure delivery in as little as 15 minutes. In 2015, we introduced Reverse Transfer, the first national automated platform for exchanging reverse transfer student data to enable eligible students to be awarded associate degrees.

As we move forward, the Clearinghouse remains focused on working with our institutional partners to find new ways to serve the education community, students, and policymakers.

For more on the Clearinghouse's history of service to education, see our timeline.