Working-age adult population with some college but no credential jumps 2.9%, report finds

Higher Ed Dive 

Natalie Schwartz
June 6, 2024
However, over 943,000 stopped-out students reenrolled in 2022-23, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.
Dive Brief: 
  • The population of U.S. adults under age 65 with some college but no credential reached 36.8 million by July 2022, up 2.9% compared to the year before, according to a new analysis from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.
  • However, over 943,000 adults who stopped out of college reenrolled during the 2022-23 academic year, an increase of 9.1% from the prior year.
  • Yet those improvements haven’t halted the growth of the stopped-out population. “Higher education regularly generates more students leaving school without a credential than returning to finish one,” Doug Shapiro, the research center’s executive director, said in a statement.
Dive Insight:
The clearinghouse’s report offers insight into the sought-after population of students with some college but no credential. Colleges are increasingly looking to attract this pool of learners to help offset an expected decline in the number of traditional-age students, typically considered under age 25.