NSCRC finds just one-third of non-first-time students in US complete their degrees

October 8, 2014

New research from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center (NSCRC) indicates that just 33.7% of adult learners in the US who enroll in PSE after at least a year away earn a degree after 6 to 8 years, compared to 54.1% of first-time students. Completion rates were higher for non-first-time students enrolled at 4-year private non-profit institutions (52.5%) than for those enrolled at 2-year public institutions (27%); however, 2-year public institutions enroll the highest proportion of non-first-time students among the various institution types in the US. The NSCRC’s data show that completion rates vary widely from state to state; Texas, New York, and Florida have completion rates ranging from 37% to 40%, while California’s sits at 24%. The completion rate was highest in the District of Columbia, at 57%, but DC accounts for just 0.1% of all non-first-time enrolments. The NSCRC’s report considers 4.5 million students who re-enrolled in PSE between August 15, 2005 and August 14, 2008; a second study, which will look at 7 million students who re-enrolled between August 15, 2008 and August 14, 2013, is currently underway. Inside Higher Ed | Report Summary