Research Center Releases State-Level Data

49 Percent of 2015-16 Bachelor’s Degree Earners Previously Enrolled at Two-Year Public Institutions

by | Mar 29, 2017 | Research Reports, Research Services, Snapshot Reports |

Research Center Releases State-Level Data

The National Student Clearinghouse Research Center has released Snapshot 26: Two-Year Institutions’ Contributions to Four-Year Degrees, which shows that 49 percent of 2015-16 bachelor’s degree recipients had previously attended a two-year public institution. Out of 1,763,046 bachelor’s degree earners reported to the Clearinghouse for the 2015-16 academic year, 860,263 of them had a two-year public enrollment at some point in the previous ten years.

“This snapshot report shows that community colleges are greatly impacting educational attainment for hundreds of thousands of students,” said Doug Shapiro, Executive Director of the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. “Even when not awarding their own degrees, these institutions are adding great value to their communities and states.”

The report examined the 10-year period prior to the bachelor’s degree award date to see how many of the 2015-16 bachelor’s degree recipients had previously enrolled at two-year public institutions. The prior enrollment at a two-year public institution may have occurred in any state, may have been brief, and may or may not have been the first institution the student attended. It may also have occurred as part of a high school dual-enrollment program.

Additional findings include:

  • In 20 states, more than half of 2015-16 bachelor’s degree earners had been enrolled at a two-year public institution in the previous ten years.
  • In 10 states, more than 60 percent of 2015-16 bachelor’s degree earners had been enrolled at a two-year public institution in the previous ten years.
  • Of the bachelor’s degree earners with a prior enrollment at a two-year, public institution, about half (49 percent) earned their bachelor’s degree within three years of leaving the two-year public institution.
  • Almost two-thirds (63 percent) of the prior enrollments in two-year public institutions lasted for three or more terms.
  • The national rate is three percentage points higher than it was for students who graduated with four-year degrees in 2013-14, as reported in the previous edition of this snapshot.

This snapshot report shows that community colleges are greatly impacting educational attainment for hundreds of thousands of students. Even when not awarding their own degrees, these institutions are adding great value to their communities and states.”

Doug Shapiro
Executive Director, National Student Clearinghouse Research Center

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