Leaving The System

July 11, 2014

Article Overview: 
More students are leaving higher education after their first year, according to new national numbers that are bad news for the college completion push.

Career College Central summary:

  • The portion of first-time U.S. students who return to college for a second year has dropped 1.2 percentage points since 2009, according to a report that looks like bad news for the national college completion push.
  • The findings are the latest from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. The nonprofit group regularly releases studies based on the Clearinghouse’s data sets, which cover 96 percent of students nationwide.
  • According to the report, which was released today, 68.7 percent of students who first enrolled in the fall of 2012 returned to any U.S. institution the following fall. That number, which is the national “persistence” rate, was down from 69.9 percent for students who enrolled in 2009.
  • The 1.2 percentage point dip is substantial, as it applies to a total enrollment of 3.1 million students. That means an additional 37,000 students last fall would still be enrolled under the 2009 persistence rate. The largest decline was among young students who were just out of high school.

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Inside Higher Education