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.
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. Please keep this in mind when making school-to-school comparisons. 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.
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?
WISEdash reporting of postsecondary data from the NSC focuses on the students' first enrollment after high school completion and the attributes of those enrollments, how persistent the student is after entering postsecondary and how long it takes for students to complete a postsecondary credential.
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.
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.
Postsecondary Enrollment by Subgroup
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 by Institution by Subgroup
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.
Postsecondary Continuance and Completion by Subgroup
High School Graduate Continuing into Postsecondary
How soon have students started postsecondary enrollment after high school completion? This chart measures the percent of students over the set of all high-school completers that enroll in a postsecondary institution: “within 6 months”, “6 to 12 months” and “after 12 months” after high school graduation. The chart also shows the number of students that are “Not Known to be Enrolled”. As there are cases where a student is enrolled in a postsecondary institution but NCS does not report that student, it cannot be assumed that this set of students are all students that are not pursuing a postsecondary education. If a student has started postsecondary during high school but waits to further enroll in post secondary for more than 12 months after high school completion, the student is considered enrolled "after 12 months" as this determination uses the first enrollment in a postsecondary institution AFTER high school completion.
Early Success in Postsecondary by High School Graduation
How consistently are students pursuing a postsecondary education after high school completion? This chart seeks to answer this question by measuring "consecutive" enrollment. A student’s enrollment is considered consecutive if a student was enrolled in a postsecondary institution sometime within each of the following three timeframes: 0-6 months, 6-12 months and 12-18 months after the first enrollment in a postsecondary institution after high school completion. If the student completed a postsecondary credential within 18 months, the student is considered to be a member of the category: "Non-Consecutive Enrollment but Completed". Enrollments in a postsecondary institution before high school completion are NOT considered in this measure. Note: if choosing a recent high school completion year, it is likely that no students will be reported as having "Consecutive Enrollment" as there has not been enough time elapsed for the student to be enrolled in the second and/or third timeframe.
HS Graduates – Years to Postsecondary Completion
How long after first postsecondary enrollment after high school graduation does it take for students to receive a postsecondary credential? This chart displays the percentage completing in each: 1 thru 6 (or more) years over the total number of students reported to have completed a degree. This DOES NOT measure duration in a postsecondary institution. If a student skips a year in completing a postsecondary credential, this will still show the number of years between first enrollment and postsecondary completion. Years are rounded up such that if a student completes a degree in a fraction of a year, the years to completion are rounded to the next whole year.
Please note, completions are not shown until 4 years after high school completion EVEN IF a student completed a credential in less than 4 years. This is done to show a more accurate percentage of how long students are taking to complete a credential. Showing completions for more recent graduation years would only show shorter term degrees which would skew the reporting in favor of such degrees as a greater percentage of total completions until more students had a chance to complete a longer term degree. Please be wary of this dynamic as data shown 4 years after high school completion will not yet consider those students that take 5 or more years to complete a credential making these statistics more accurate as greater time elapses.