Quantifying the Impact of College Closures
2nd Report, “A Dream Derailed,” Finds the Odds of Earning a Credential Cut in Half When Experiencing a Closure
The State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO) released a new report, A Dream Derailed: Investigating the Causal Effects of College Closures on Student Outcomes, that seeks to measure the impact of college closures on students’ subsequent postsecondary enrollment and completion outcomes.
Results show students impacted by a college closure are 71% less likely to reenroll within one month and 50% less likely to earn any credential post-closure compared to those who did not experience a closure. Such negative impacts are most pronounced for students of color, students enrolled in certificate programs, and students enrolled in for-profit institutions. The student-level panel dataset used in the report was constructed using data reported to the National Student Clearinghouse by more than 3,600 institutions of higher education.
The National Student Clearinghouse Research Center made substantial contributions by constructing the student-level dataset using historical enrollment and completion records of students who experienced college closures. Key outcome measures on student’s academic success and progress post-closure over time were developed based on the Research Center’s knowledge and experience conducting analysis on college enrollment and migration patterns.
“The important findings of this report will help guide states’ efforts to reduce the impact on students of future closures,” said Doug Shapiro, executive director of the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, “It would not have been possible without Clearinghouse data and the skills of our Research Center analysts.”
The new report is the second of three publications assessing college closures’ impacts. The first report, Investigating the Impacts of College Closures on Student Outcomes, was co-produced by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center and SHEEO in November 2022. SHEEO continues to leverage the robust dataset constructed by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center to produce the second and third reports. The upcoming third report will incorporate state authorization policy context to determine if policy interventions can mitigate the negative impacts of college closures on students.
Students impacted by a college closure are 71% less likely to reenroll within one month and 50% less likely to earn any credential post-closure compared to those who did not experience a closure.