Nearly 1 Million Students with Some College Returned and Earned a Degree Since 2014
“Some College, No Degree” Report Reveals 3.5 Million Americans with Some College Have High Potential to Return and Finish College
The United States saw nearly one million former students, in just five years, return to postsecondary education and earn their first undergraduate credential, according to a new report, “Some College, No Degree: A 2019 Snapshot for the Nation and 50 States,” released today.
The research also reveals that an additional 1.1 million former students came back to college and are still enrolled in pursuit of a credential. Taken together with those who returned and earned a credential, the combined success and progress rate of 54 percent exists among the 3.8 million returning “Some College, No Degree” students.
“The returning students and new completers identified in this report should be celebrated, but they have been mostly invisible until now,” said Doug Shapiro, Executive Director, National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. “The graduation rates commonly used to measure college performance in the U.S. counted them as dropouts when they left and ignored them when they returned, yet their successes today represent great benefits to themselves, their states, and the nation.”
“Building on the 2014 report, the Clearinghouse’s predictive profiles of potential completers still hold,” said Sally Johnstone, President, National Center for Higher Education Management Systems. “This research offers state planners critical information regarding who these learners are and how to create academic programs and services that can really meet their needs if they are to complete degrees to help states meet their future workforce demands.”
Background on “Some College, No Degree” report series
The “Some College, No Degree” report series seeks to understand the educational trajectories of millions of Americans who left postsecondary education without receiving a degree or certificate. As the second in the series, this report offers insights about their subsequent enrollments and completions, based on the most current national data that tracks individual students over time, across institutions and across state lines since the first report was released in 2014.
“This research offers state planners critical information regarding who these learners are and how to create academic programs and services that can really meet their needs if they are to complete degrees to help states meet their future workforce demands.”
President, National Center for Higher Education Management Systems