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.