Key Initiative

Some College, No Credential Student (SCNC) Outcomes: Annual Progress Report

The Some College, No Credential (SCNC) annual report series conducted by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center seeks to understand the educational trajectories of millions of U.S. adults who left postsecondary education without receiving a postsecondary credential and are no longer enrolled. The May 2022 report is the third in the series. The report identifies the levels of opportunity within each state for re-engaging SCNC students in the postsecondary attainment pipeline by tracking SCNC student outcomes annually: “Re-Enrollment” after stop-out, completion of “First Credential,” and “Perseverance” as indicated by continuous enrollment beyond first re-enrollment.

Key findings:

  • In July 2020, the Some College, No Credential (SCNC) population reached 39 million, up 3.1 million from the 36 million SCNC population previously reported. A combination of net growth (1.9 million) and methodological enhancements contributed to the 3.1 million increase.
  • 48 states and D.C. had a net growth.
  • Four states (California, Texas, New York, Illinois) account for more than a third of the nation’s SCNC students. However, Alaska shows the largest number of SCNC students per 1,000 currently enrolled undergraduates among all states.
  • Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, during the academic year 2020/21, 944,200 SCNC students re-enrolled and 60,400 students earned their first-ever postsecondary credential. An additional 531,700 students were still enrolled after re-enrolling the previous year. (These outcomes reference SCNC students aged 18 to 64.)
  • About 62% of the 944,200 students changed institutions upon re-enrolling, and those who did change institutions also commonly crossed institution sectors (67%). Re-enrolling in a community college after last attending a community college was the most common pathway for SCNC re-enrollees (363,400 students, 38.5%).
  • Seventy percent of the 60,400 completers obtained their credential from a public institution (two- or four-year). Private nonprofit four-year institutions had the highest perseverance rates (64.8%), while community colleges had the lowest (50.2%).
  • Women outnumbered men in re-enrollment, credential earning, and perseverance. The share of re-enrollees among minority women was substantially higher than men (63.5% versus 34.6%).
  • Associate degrees were the most common credential earned by Latinx SCNC students (42.5%), whereas Black students were most likely to have completed a certificate (42.7%). Asian and White students persevered at a higher rate than other groups.

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