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College student ‘Stop-Out” population increased

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The National Student Clearinghouse Research Center's new data reveals that the “some college, no credential” (SCNC) population increased by 3.6% from the previous year.

The SCNC Student Outcomes: Annual Progress Report found that between July 2020 and July 2021, the U.S. added 1.4 trillion more SCNC students— a population of now 40.4 million which is “due to a lack of re-enrollment among the 39 million previously identified SCNC and 2.3 million newly identified SNCN students,” as reported by the National Student Clearinghouse.

“Growing numbers of stop-outs and fewer returning students have contributed to the broader enrollment declines in recent years,” said Doug Shapiro, executive director of the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. “While our latest enrollment report suggests this trend may be stabilizing, it is still uncertain when or how colleges might return to pre-pandemic levels. Today’s report can help states and institutions understand the avenues of success for returning SCNC students and identify areas of opportunity for better supporting their needs.”

However, nearly 80,000 fewer SCNS students re-enrolled for the 2021-2022 academic year. Despite the discouraging numbers, potential complete and recent stop-out subgroups demonstrate promising re-enrollment. 

The report highlights that approximately 2.9 million or 7.3% of the SNCN population are “potential completers,” most SCNC students were younger than 35 at the last enrollment, potential completers, and recent stop-outs were more likely to re-enroll; 6.1% and 9.4%, respectively. 

The report also revealed that 15.4% or 145,900 of the 944,2000 re-enrollees in the academic year 2021-2021 earned their first-ever credential. 

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