Educational Advisors

Industry News

Persistence Moves Closer to Pre-Pandemic Levels

Persistence Moves Closer to Pre-Pandemic Levels

Inside Higher Ed 

Sara Weissman
June 29, 2022
The majority of students who started college in fall 2020 came back for their second year, according to a new report from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. While the persistence rate of 75 percent didn’t quite reach the pre-pandemic level of 75.9 percent, it increased 1.1 percentage points compared to the students who first enrolled in fall 2019.
The report, released Tuesday, evaluated first-year persistence and retention rates for first-time college students. Of the first-time students who persisted to fall 2021, 66.4 percent stayed at the institution where they started or completed a credential there the year they enrolled, while 8.6 percent transferred to another institution to continue their studies.
That transfer-out rate for first-time students was an improvement after dropping from an average of 9.2 percent before the pandemic to 7.7 percent in fall 2019. Full-time students were more likely to transfer out (8.3 percent) compared to part-time students (7.9 percent).
“This year’s persistence rate increase is because of the growth of first-time students transferring out in their first year rather than the increase of those remaining at their starting institution,” Doug Shapiro, executive director of the research center, said in a press release. “This is a reversal of last year’s trend, where the decline in the transfer-out rate had caused the first-year persistence rate to drop.”
Mikyung Ryu, director of research publications at the center, said while the persistence-rate increase may seem like a hopeful finding, its significance is complicated. The rise coincided with steep enrollment declines, with first-time student enrollment falling 9.9 percent in fall 2020, a loss of 255,000 students, compared to fall 2019.
That means the students who persisted to fall 2021 were largely students who had the funds and supports to begin college mid-pandemic and were more likely to successfully stay enrolled, thus raising the persistence rate, she said. Meanwhile, many older students or students from low-income or underrepresented backgrounds just didn’t start college at all that fall.
Continue Reading

We have worked with schools across the nation who are accredited by national and regional agencies such as:

National Association of Schools of Art and Design