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Flexibility and Graduation

Inside Higher Ed

Attending college full time isn’t always the best way to get to graduation, at least for adult community college students who have previously pursued a degree and dropped out.

That’s the central finding of a new study from a coalition of five higher education groups. The data are based on 12 million student records from the National Student Clearinghouse.

The American Council on Education (ACE), InsideTrack, NASPA: Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, and the University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA) worked with the Clearinghouse to track the graduation and retention rates of non-first-time students.

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Press Releases

National study of non-first-time students shows full-time enrollment may not be appropriate for all

The latest findings from the nation’s first effort to benchmark the persistence patterns of non-first-time (NFT) college students indicate that NFT students are more likely to complete an associate degree and less likely to drop out if they combine full-time and part-time enrollment. The findings could renew discussions about the efficacy of mandatory “15 credit per semester” policies at 2-year programs.

NFT_EnrollmentIntensity

“Returning students are typically balancing work, family and other commitments that ebb and flow in intensity over the course of their academic career,” says Dave Jarrat, vice president of marketing at InsideTrack. “Mixing part-time and full-time enrollment enables these students to persist through the inevitable fluctuations in their life obligations.”

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