About the Data
The National Student Clearinghouse (NSC) collects enrollment data from over 3,300 postsecondary institutions enrolling over 96% of all students in postsecondary institutions in the United States including public/private, two-year/four-year, technical colleges, and training programs. The data include all enrolled students and can follow a student through his or her entire collegiate experience. The Clearinghouse is FERPA Compliant.
Examples of data elements available from the Clearinghouse include college name, state, type, enrollment begin date, enrollment end date, graduation date, degree title, and major.
Please visit the National Student Clearinghouse website for more information.
How does DPI use National Student Clearinghouse data?
DPI exchanges data files with the NSC to obtain postsecondary enrollment information about Wisconsin high-school graduates who continued their education. The data submitted to the National Student Clearinghouse is comprised of all students from the 2005-06 school year onward where a district has reported a completion credential for the student. The Clearinghouse will then attempt a matching process to find the postsecondary enrollment information for each of the graduates. A file is sent back to DPI and the data are incorporated into the WISEdash data warehouse to expand our longitudinal picture of a student beyond high school. This data will enable DPI to create useful and informative public and secured reports using a variety of methods to answer questions such as:
- Where do our high school graduates enroll in college?
- When do they enroll in college?
- How long do their education efforts persist?
- Do they graduate from college?
- What degrees do they earn?
Various data disclaimers need to be applied to the postsecondary enrollment data received from the NSC.
When the student level data is returned from the NSC, each student record will have an indicator of Found or Not Found. There are several reasons that a student record may be Not Found including the following:
- The student's records were blocked by the student or the postsecondary institution.
- The enrollment was not reported at all or had not been reported by the time the file exchange and matching occurred.
- The student enrolled at an institution that does not participate with the NSC.
- The student, though enrolled in a postsecondary institution, does not have a social security number and is thus not reported by the postsecondary institution to the clearinghouse.
- A match could not be made during the matching process for technical reasons.
- An enrollment was found in the database but it was not within the timeframe defined for the enrollment record search.
- More than one student was matched by NSC and they could not resolve the multiple matching.
As a result, we cannot definitively say that a student has NOT enrolled in postsecondary if we did NOT receive an enrollment record for that student from the NSC. In other words, it is most likely that reports based on NSC data under represent actual enrollment. This under representation may affect the reports for some high schools more than others, depending upon the possible concentration of the above instances. DPI is working to collect enrollment data directly from postsecondary institutions in Wisconsin in an effort to improve the accuracy of postsecondary enrollment reporting, at least for in-state schools.
In regards to colleges submitting enrollment data, the colleges must submit their first file of each term within 30 days of the start of the term, subsequent submissions every 30-45 days, and the last submission of the term no later than 2 weeks after the end of the term. The NSC is not able to communicate to us when each college last submitted enrollment data to them. DPI does receive a list of colleges in WI with 1,000 or more students enrolled that do not report enrollment to the NSC.
How NSC Data is Reported in WISEdash
WISEdash reporting of postsecondary data from the NSC currently focuses on the students' first enrollment after high school completion and the attributes of those enrollments. Future enhancements may include persistence information and postsecondary graduation and degree information.
Each of the postsecondary enrollment charts in WISEdash can be grouped by gender, race/ethnicity, ELL status, disability status and high school completion school year. This Group By feature eliminates the need to provide additional related dashboards like you see in other dashboard subject areas.
There are five different postsecondary metrics available in WISEdash.
Postsecondary Enrollment - First Enrollment
1. First Fall: If the student’s initial postsecondary enrollment date was between the exit date associated with the student’s highest high school completion credential and November 1 following the exit date.
2. Second Fall: If the student’s initial postsecondary enrollment date was between the exit date associated with the student’s highest high school completion credential and the second fall after November 1 following the exit date. Note that if a student is identified as initially enrolling in the First Fall they will NOT be identified as initially enrolling in the Second Fall.
Postsecondary Percent Enrolled
This chart indicates students enrolled in a post-secondary institution along with students who are either not enrolled or whose enrollment was not reported as a percent of total high school completers.
Postsecondary Enrollment - Institution Location
This chart indicates postsecondary enrollments in Wisconsin and out of Wisconsin for each high school completion year as a percentage of high school completers. If a student attended institutions in Wisconsin and out of Wisconsin over the years, they are represented in these metrics for both enrollments.
Postsecondary Enrollment - Institution Type
This chart indicates postsecondary enrollments in Public vs. Private Institutions for each high school completion year as a percentage of high school completers. If a student attended both Public and Private Institutions over the years, they are represented in these metrics for both enrollments.
Postsecondary Enrollment - Institution Level
This chart indicates postsecondary enrollments in Less than 2-year, 2-year, or 4-Year Institutions for each high school completion year as a percentage of high school completers. If a student attended all three types of institutions over the years, they are represented in these metrics for the three types of enrollments.
Data from the NSC are loaded as is which may result in what looks like duplicate enrollment records for a student when viewing the student list or profile. All metrics use a count of distinct students for summary purposes.