Changes in Undergraduate Earners During COVID-19

March 1, 2021

Share this

Title: Undergraduate Degree Earners

Author: National Clearinghouse Research Center

A recent report from the National Clearinghouse Research Center highlighted the current trends for undergraduate degree earners across higher education sectors. In brief, from 2019-2020 undergraduate completion decreased as a result of the pandemic and closures increased across higher education institutions. Below are some key findings of the report:

  • The total number of undergraduate degree earners remained the same, while first-time graduates decreased by 1 percent.
  • Community college completion rates were already in decline but accelerated due to the pandemic. Declines among first-time associate degree and certificate earners fell 3.9 percent and 5.0 percent.
  • Adult learner (ages 25 and older) associate degree earners dropped by 7 percent.
  • Undergraduate earners with prior stacked credentials continued to see growth, with a 2.7 percent increase.
  • Undergraduate traditional-age bachelor’s degree recipients increased by 2.9 percent, while adult learners (ages 25 and older) declined by 2 percent.

While the pandemic has impacted much of higher education, this was especially true within the community college sector. As the report shows, certain undergraduate earners were impacted more than others (i.e. adult learners vs non-adult learners). To explore figures and graphs, see full report here.

Ángel Gonzalez

If you have any questions or comments about this blog post, please contact us.

Keep Reading

What Campus Data Tell Us About Student Mental Health and COVID-19

Recent stories have warned of a “mental health tsunami” and a “mental health crisis on campuses” as over the past two years, students and campus communities worked to master the new normal of masking, vaccines, and social distancing in a global pandemic. As we look toward the future, what should campuses do about the mental health of students?

February 17, 2022

Lessons Learned from Rural Community Colleges’ Response to COVID-19

An array of challenges have shaped the response of rural community colleges to COVID-19. Yet an informal survey of rural institutions indicates that this is not a story of defeat, but one of creativity and commitment.

June 22, 2020

Survival to Transformation: Navigating Fiscal Distress During COVID-19

The challenge ahead for higher education is unprecedented, and the typical solutions won’t sustain our institutions. If we can’t go back to what we used to be before COVID-19, we must instead evolve to something better, writes Philip Rogers.

April 23, 2020