Students Keep Swirling

Career College Central summary:

  • Community college students continue to be the most mobile students in higher education, according to the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC). According to a new NCS “Snapshot Report” looking at mobility among college students (defined as enrolled in more than one postsecondary institution over an academic year, including summer, online and concurrent enrollments), 11.5 percent of two-year college students attended at least one other higher education institution during the 2012-13 academic year. The rate that year for students at public four-year colleges was 8.7 percent, with the rate among students from four-year private colleges even lower.
  • In addition, in each of the three years studied, nearly 75 percent of mobile students at all higher education institutions had at least one enrollment at a two-year college, according to the data. Of all mobile students in 2012-13, nearly 40 percent moved between two- and four-year public institutions, in either direction. Students who moved among different community colleges comprised 17 percent of all mobile students that year, a slight drop from nearly 19 percent in 2010-11 and about 18 percent in 2011-12.
  • “While traditional student transfer occurs between academic years, this report shows the importance of student mobility within a single year, revealing yet more variation among students whose postsecondary education pathways span multiple institutions,” Doug Shapiro, executive research director of NSC Research Center, said in a statement. “Our continuing research in this area helps students, educators and policymakers to understand the many pathways to postsecondary success.”

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