Some College, No Degree: A 2019 Snapshot for the Nation and 50 States

Research Rundown Issue: November '19
Publisher: National Student Clearinghouse Research Center
Date Published: October '19


A new report from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center— the only group in the country with data on where individual students are in the college process—looked at “Some College, No Degree” students and offers insights on their pathways to college success. Overall, there are 36 million Americans who have some postsecondary education and training, but no degree. Within this group, the report highlights that four million have made at least two years of academic progress, making them more likely to re-enroll and finish college. Their most common destination is a local community college—and often a different institution than they started in.

Why This Matters in Minnesota

In 2015, the Minnesota legislature passed a law setting a statewide target that 70% of Minnesota adults ages 25-44 will have attained a postsecondary certificate or degree by 2025.  As of December 2018, we still had a long way to go, with only 61.4% of all Minnesotans holding a postsecondary credential and significant disparities across lines of race and ethnicity. As we work to reach our state’s attainment goal, it’s important to have a comprehensive understanding of where and when students were last enrolled and what credentials they are likely to pursue, and what the most successful pathways are for both first-time and returning students.

Read the report