NCAN Releases Benchmarking Report on Student Enrollment and Completion Outcomes

December 9, 2014

NCAN is pleased today to announce the release of “Closing the College Graduation Gap” our 2014 national college access and success benchmarking report. This report, the first of an annual series, is the result of NCAN working with our members and with the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center (NSCRC) to establish meaningful metrics about the outcomes of students served by college access and success programs.

Using data collected from 24 NCAN member programs, the NSCRC calculated an enrollment rate and graduation rates for the high school classes of 2007, 2008, and 2009 and an enrollment rate for the high school class of 2013. Developing and tracking these metrics are critical as the college access and success field increasingly turns toward data for improving program performance and understanding student outcomes.

NCAN would like to thank the Kresge and Michael & Susan Dell Foundations for their invaluable support in pursuing and completing this report.

The results of the first year of benchmarking hold both a lot of good news for NCAN members and a charge to keep moving toward closing the college enrollment and graduation gaps facing low-income, first-generation students. The enrollment rates for the four high school classes examined (71%, 70%, 70%, and 65% for the partial 2013 year) all exceeded similar rates for urban, suburban, and rural low-income high schools published in the NSCRC’s 2014 High School Benchmarks report. Even more encouraging is that NCAN’s enrollment benchmarks exceed those of four categories of high-income high schools.

The report also compares NCAN’s graduation rate benchmark for the class of 2007 (the only year for which there was a 6-year graduation rate) to the NSCRC’s “Completing College: A National View of Student Attainment Rates – Fall 2007 Cohort” report. The graduation rate of students served by NCAN members (54.8%) was approaching the overall NSC benchmark of 59.7%. This indicates that there is more work to be done to ensure postsecondary opportunities for traditionally underserved students. However, compared to the graduation outcomes of low-income, first-generation students from the class of 2003 (45.3%), there is also some evidence that NCAN’s members are moving the needle on their critical mission.

Worth noting is that federal data collections and surveys are either too incomplete or too infrequent when it comes to providing a clear picture of the performance of underserved students, which created the need to compare the class of 2007 benchmarks to one from 2003.

In addition to reporting these benchmarks, “Closing the Graduation Gap” profiles five NCAN members who submitted data for the report. Follow NCAN’s blog this week as we take an in-depth look at each of them in turn.

Work on the second round of the Benchmarking Project has already started, and NCAN is still accepting applications from programs who would like to participate. What does participation involve? Organizations would need to submit data to the National Student Clearinghouse on students served who graduated from high school from the following years: 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2014 along with the following data points:

  • First Name, Last Name, Middle Initial (where relevant), Date of Birth, Address

Additionally, we would ask you to submit as many of the following variables as possible:

  • Gender, Race/Ethnicity, and First-Generation Status
  • Expected Family Contribution and scholarships granted by the program
  • Program selectivity information
  • Information on the services this student received

For more information on participating in the Benchmarking Project, click here.

NCAN is proud of our members’ important work and performance. A student's ZIP code or skin color should not predetermine their educational opportunities, and the results in our first benchmarking report show that, for many students served by our members, these opportunities are being achieved.

If you would like to help NCAN share the news about the benchmarking report via Twitter, please do so using the links below!

First annual report measuring the enrollment & graduation rates of NCAN-served students released

NCAN students' enrollment rates are comparable to their higher-income peers. Read more in NCAN’s new benchmarking report

NCAN-served students' completion rates approach national benchmark, exceed other low-income/first-gens

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