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3 Key Questions Our Research Center Reports Can Help You Answer

by NSC Blog | Apr 3, 2024 | Research Reports

Through its reports, the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center provides information on trends in enrollment, transfers, and completion that can help educational leaders measure institutional performance as the 2023-2024 academic year nears its end. Here are three key questions the Research Center’s reports can answer for higher education.

How does your institution’s freshman enrollment compare to the national average?

Freshman enrollment grew 0.8% this past fall, a slower rate than undergraduate enrollment overall, which was up 1.2%. The Current Term Enrollment Estimates Report provides the latest enrollment data, which can be analyzed based on type of institution, demographics, state and region, and majors, allowing academic leaders to use different criteria to understand how their institution compares.

How does your institution’s transfer enrollment compare to the national average?

The number of students who transferred into a new institution in fall 2023 grew 5.3% compared to fall 2022, according to the Transfer and Progress Fall 2023 Report. Transfers represented 13.2% of all continuing and returning undergraduates, up from 12.5%. Academic leaders can leverage the report’s dashboard to explore the number of students transferring from community colleges to four-year colleges by demographics, such as race, gender, and age, as well as other aspects, such as majors, state, and neighborhood income.

How does your institution’s six-year completion rate compare to other institutions?

The six-year completion rate for the fall 2017 cohort was 62.2%, essentially unchanged since 2015. The Completing College National and State Reports series tracks college completion rates for full- and part-time students entering two-year or four-year institutions each fall. Specifically, the report looks at six- and eight-year completion rates, and accounts for students who transfer or take time off before returning to complete their degree. This gives a more accurate picture of today’s students’ pathways to graduation, which may involve multiple institutions and breaks in enrollment.

National Student Clearinghouse Research Center reports provide valuable insights on performance from enrollment and transfer trends to student success metrics. Understanding how their institution compares to national averages helps educators and administrators identify areas of strength and opportunities for improvement so they can better serve and support their learners. Read the Research Center’s reports.

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