National Student Clearinghouse Research Center releases new enrollment data for states, institutions to reengage stop-outs and former students

Stopping the stop-outs: Promising re-enrollment practices

National Student Clearinghouse Research Center releases new data as guide for states and institutions to reengage former students

Editor’s note: This story is part of a series examining the aspects of recruitment, enrollment, and retention on U.S. campuses. Check back each Monday for a different look at some of the challenges–and successes–found in higher education today. Next week, we’ll examine data’s role in improving student retention and outcomes.

The number of former students who stopped out without earning a credential—often referred to as the “some college, no credential (SCNC) population—rose 3.6 percent from las year, according to new data from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. In addition, fewer SCNC students returned and completed a credential. These two developments highlight an increasingly missed opportunity for states and institutions to reengage SCNC students.

The findings from Some College, No Credential (SCNC) Student Outcomes: Annual Progress Report found that between July 2020 and July 2021, the U.S. added 1.4 million more SCNC students, making the SCNC population now 40.4 million (July 2021), up from 39.0 million a year earlier. All 50 states and D.C. experienced growth.

This increase in the SCNC population is due to a lack of re-enrollment among the 39 million previously identified SCNC and 2.3 million newly identified SCNC students. During academic year 2021-2022, nearly 80,000 fewer SCNC students re-enrolled, 7,000 fewer completed a credential within a year, and 23,100 fewer persevered to a second year of re-enrollment than the previous year.

“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.”

Sign up for our newsletter

Newsletter: Innovations in K12 Education
By submitting your information, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Laura Ascione

"(Required)" indicates required fields