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REPORT: Current Term Enrollment Report – Spring 2013

Current Term Enrollment Estimates Report

Overview

In the current term (spring 2013), enrollments have decreased, compared to the previous spring, in every sector except four-year private nonprofits, with the largest decreases taking place among four-year for-profits (-8.7 percent) and two-year publics (-3.6 percent).

This report is the second in a series of current term enrollment estimates from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, to be published every December and May. It includes national enrollment estimates as well as subtotals by institutional sector, region, enrollment intensity, age group, and gender. As of spring 2013, institutions actively submitting enrollment data to the Clearinghouse account for 95 percent of all Title IV, degree-granting enrollments in the nation. Most institutions submit enrollment data to the Clearinghouse several times per term, resulting in highly current data. Moreover, since the Clearinghouse collects data from institutions at the student level, the data also allow the reporting of unduplicated headcounts, avoiding double-counting of students who are concurrently enrolled in more than one institution.

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Figure 1: Percent Change from Previous Year, Enrollment by Sector (Title IV, Degree-Granting Institutions)

Figure 1: Percent Change from Previous Year, Enrollment by Sector (Title IV, Degree-Granting Institutions)

Figure 1 shows a 12-month percentage change (fall-to-fall and spring-to-spring) for each term over the last three years. It is based on data submitted to the National Student Clearinghouse by April 11 of a given year, a cutoff that captures about 98.5 percent of the spring term data that will eventually be submitted. Estimates are adjusted for data coverage rates by institutional sector and year.


Figure 2: Percent Change from Fall to Spring, Enrollment by Sector (Title IV, Degree-Granting Institutions)

Figure 2: Percent Change from Fall to Spring, Enrollment by Sector (Title IV, Degree-Granting Institutions)

Figure 2 shows fall-to-spring percent changes in enrollments by institutional sector, for each of the last three years. Typically, spring enrollments are lower than fall enrollments, but it is important to recognize that this is not an attrition rate for individual students. Rather, the drop represents the net effect of fall student attrition, graduation and stop-out, combined with new and returning spring student enrollments. The overall enrollment difference between fall and spring enrollment totals (all sectors) has been growing, with spring 2013 enrollments 5.4 percent below the fall 2012 total.


Table 1: Estimated National Enrollment by Sector (Title IV, Degree-Granting Institutions)
Sector SPRING 2013 SPRING 2012 SPRING 2011
Enrollment % Change fromPrior Year Enrollment % Change fromPrior Year Enrollment % Change fromPrior Year
Total Enrollment, All Sectors 19,105,651 -2.3% 19,550,391 -0.3% 19,610,826 0.2%
Four-Year Public 7,312,261 -1.1% 7,397,012 -0.1% 7,404,225 2.0%
Four-Year Private Nonprofit 3,620,640 0.5% 3,601,383 3.8% 3,469,781 1.8%
Four-Year For-Profit 1,347,238 -8.7% 1,476,010 -9.3% 1,626,756 9.0%
Two-YearPublic 6,351,609 -3.6% 6,591,687 -1.1% 6,665,788 -3.8%
Unduplicated Student Headcount (All Sectors) 18,766,884 -2.1% 19,178,473 -0.2% 19,213,308 0.2%
UNDERSTANDING THE NUMBERS

Table 1 provides counts of spring term enrollments submitted to the Clearinghouse by April 11 of each year. Enrollments represent one student in one institution and thus would count twice a student enrolled simultaneously at two institutions. The unduplicated headcount provides the number of unique students with no double-counting. This figure can be used to determine the percentage of concurrent enrollments in any given year. In each spring term, about 2.0 percent of total enrollments can be accounted for by students enrolling in more than one institution.

Less-than-two-year institutions have been aggregated with two-year institutions. Two-year for-profits and two-year private nonprofits are not shown in the table due to small counts, but enrollments from those sectors are included in the overall totals. Additional notes on data and coverage are included at the end of this document.


Table 2: Estimated National Enrollment by Region (Title IV, Degree-Granting Institutions)
Sector SPRING 2013 SPRING 2012 SPRING 2011
Enrollment % Change from Prior Year Enrollment % Change from Prior Year Enrollment % Change from Prior Year
Total Enrollment, All Regions 19,105,651 -2.0% 19,492,458 -0.6% 19,610,826 0.2%
Midwest 3,976,063 -2.6% 4,083,689 -2.4% 4,183,489 1.0%
Northeast 3,113,155 -0.9% 3,142,022 -0.8% 3,166,927 -0.5%
South 6,334,164 -2.2% 6,476,605 1.8% 6,361,926 -0.3%
West 4,508,649 -1.7% 4,587,425 -0.6% 4,612,975 0.0%
UNDERSTANDING THE NUMBERS

Table 2 provides counts of spring term enrollments by the region of institution (states are grouped according to Census Bureau regions). Institutions that span multiple states have been excluded from the regional subtotals. However, these institutions are included in the national total. Additional notes on data and coverage are included at the end of this document.


Table 3: Estimated National Enrollment by Sector and Intensity Level (Title IV, Degree-Granting Institutions)
Sector Enrollment Intensity SPRING 2013 SPRING 2012 SPRING 2011
Enrollment % Change from Prior Year Enrollment % Change from Prior Year Enrollment % Change from Prior Year
All Sectors Full-Time 11,731,790 -2.7% 12,060,023 -0.8% 12,155,656 0.6%
Part-Time 7,373,861 -1.6% 7,490,368 0.5% 7,455,170 -0.6%
Four-Year Public Full-Time 5,239,044 -0.8% 5,283,906 0.0% 5,284,625 2.0%
Part-Time 2,073,217 -1.9% 2,113,106 -0.3% 2,119,600 2.2%
Four-Year Private Non-Profit Full-Time 2,762,099 0.3% 2,755,060 3.2% 2,669,455 2.3%
Part-Time 858,541 1.4% 846,324 5.7% 800,327 0.2%
Four-Year For-Profit Full-Time - - - - - -
Part-Time - - - - - -
Two-Year Public Full-Time 2,476,569 -5.2% 2,613,356 -4.2% 2,728,152 -5.0%
Part-Time 3,875,040 -2.6% 3,978,331 1.0% 3,937,635 -3.1%
UNDERSTANDING THE NUMBERS

Table 3 provides counts of spring term enrollments by the enrollment intensity of the student. Enrollment intensity is defined by the institution and based on the earliest data submitted for a student in any given term. As a result, the intensity generally reflects the student’s intended workload at the beginning of the term. Less-than-two-year institutions have been aggregated with two-year institutions. Two-year for-profits and two-year private nonprofits are not shown in the table due to small counts, but enrollments from those sectors are included in the overall totals.

Two large for-profit institutions began participating with the Clearinghouse in spring 2013, altering the ratio of full-time to part-time students. As a result, comparisons to prior years are not meaningful. Additional notes on data and coverage are included at the end of this document.


Table 4: Estimated National Enrollment by Sector and Age Group (Title IV, Degree-Granting Institutions)
Sector Age Group SPRING 2013 SPRING 2012 SPRING 2011
Enrollment % Change from Prior Year Enrollment % Change from Prior Year Enrollment % Change from Prior Year
All Sectors 24 and Under 11,562,527 -1.4% 11,728,592 0.3% 11,699,257 -0.3%
Over 24 7,543,124 -3.6% 7,821,799 -1.1% 7,911,569 0.8%
Four-Year Public 24 and Under 5,025,237 -0.1% 5,031,544 0.4% 5,011,480 1.8%
Over 24 2,287,024 -3.3% 2,365,468 -1.1% 2,392,745 2.6%
Four-Year Private Non-Profit 24 and Under 2,169,278 0.5% 2,159,413 2.7% 2,102,212 1.4%
Over 24 1,451,362 0.7% 1,441,971 5.4% 1,367,569 2.3%
Four-Year For-Profit 24 and Under 253,913 -10.2% 282,607 -9.7% 312,964 4.2%
Over 24 1,093,325 -8.4% 1,193,403 -9.2% 1,313,792 10.2%
Two-Year Public 24 and Under 3,737,580 -1.7% 3,803,654 0.0% 3,801,851 -4.4%
Over 24 2,614,029 -6.2% 2,788,033 -2.7% 2,863,937 -3.1%
UNDERSTANDING THE NUMBERS

Table 4 provides counts of spring term enrollments by student age group. Student age is calculated as of the first day of the term (a date specific to the institution). Less-than-two-year institutions have been aggregated with two-year institutions. Two-year for-profits and two-year private nonprofits are not shown in the table due to small counts, but enrollments from those sectors are included in the overall totals. Additional notes on data and coverage are included at the end of this document.


Table 5: Estimated National Enrollment by Sector and Gender (Title IV, Degree-Granting Institutions)
Sector Gender SPRING 2013 SPRING 2012 SPRING 2011
Enrollment % Change from Prior Year Enrollment % Change from Prior Year Enrollment % Change from Prior Year
All Sectors Men 8,195,317 -1.7% 8,334,338 -0.6% 8,383,690 0.2%
Women 10,910,335 -2.7% 11,216,053 -0.1% 11,227,137 0.1%
Four-Year Public Men 3,282,430 -0.8% 3,310,388 0.1% 3,306,375 2.3%
Women 4,029,831 -1.4% 4,086,624 -0.3% 4,097,850 1.8%
Four-Year Private Non-Profit Men 1,514,267 0.9% 1,500,286 3.3% 1,452,706 1.7%
Women 2,106,373 0.3% 2,101,097 4.2% 2,017,076 1.8%
Four-Year For-Profit Men 484,200 -7.3% 522,293 -11.0% 586,843 13.9%
Women 863,037 -9.5% 953,717 -8.3% 1,039,913 6.4%
Two-Year Public Men 2,710,496 -2.4% 2,777,624 -1.5% 2,819,495 -4.0%
Women 3,641,114 -4.5% 3,814,062 -0.8% 3,846,293 -3.8%
UNDERSTANDING THE NUMBERS

Table 5 provides counts of spring term enrollments by gender. Institutions reported student gender to the Clearinghouse for about one-third of all students. Gender was imputed based on first name for all other students. Less-than-two-year institutions have been aggregated with two-year institutions. Two-year for-profits and two-year private nonprofits are not shown in the table due to small counts, but enrollments from those sectors are included in the overall totals. Additional notes on data, coverage, and imputation of gender are included at the end of this document.


Notes on the Data

National Coverage of the Data

As of spring 2013, institutions actively submitting enrollment data to the Clearinghouse account for 95 percent of all enrollments at Title IV, degree-granting institutions in the nation. Because Clearinghouse participation grew over the period covered by this report and because coverage of institutions (i.e., percentage of all institutions participating in the Clearinghouse) is not 100 percent for any individual year, weights were applied by institutional sector to better approximate enrollment figures for all institutions nationally. Using all IPEDS Title IV, degree-granting institutions as the base study population, weights for each institution type were calculated using the inverse of the rate of enrollment coverage for that sector in the relevant year. Given the unavailability of fall 2012 IPEDS enrollments at the time of the publication of this report, fall 2011 IPEDS enrollments were used as the basis for calculating the spring 2013 Clearinghouse coverage rates.

For detailed statistics on enrollment coverage as well as several other aspects of Clearinghouse data, visit the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center’s “Working With Our Data” page.

Differences from IPEDS

National Student Clearinghouse data is nonadjudicated, administrative data that comes directly from college and university registrars. It differs from IPEDS survey data in a number of important ways:

  1. Term definition: IPEDS does not conduct a spring enrollment survey, so there are no comparable IPEDS numbers for the spring. For Clearinghouse reporting, institutions provide the start- and end-dates for each enrollment, rather than formally designating fall or spring terms. Spring Terms included in the Current Term Enrollment Estimates are those that:
    • began between January 15 and March 31, inclusive OR
    • ended between February 15 and April 30, inclusive OR
    • began before January 15 AND ended after April 30.
  2. Degree-granting status: When referencing IPEDS enrollment counts, it is important to distinguish counts limited to degree-granting institutions from those that also include nondegree granting institutions. NCES publishes both of these counts in IPEDS First-Look Reports. The Clearinghouse counts in this report are limited to Title IV, degree-granting institutions.
  3. Enrollment status changes: Institutions submit data to the Clearinghouse throughout a given term, capturing changes in enrollment status from one submission to the next. The counts in this report include all students whose institution submitted at least one enrollment record showing the student as enrolled either full time, half time, or less than half time during the term. For IPEDS reporting, an institution generally counts a student according to the student’s enrollment status as of the institution’s IPEDS census date.
  4. International students: As the Clearinghouse continues to enhance its data collections to better support the needs of the education community, enrollment records for international students are starting to become more complete than in past years. Because this is a recent development, in order to ensure consistent year-to-year comparisons, international students have been excluded from this report. (In the most recent years for which IPEDS data are available, about 3.4 percent of the total IPEDS enrollment is accounted for by the nonresident alien category.)
Imputation of Gender

Institutions reported student gender to the Clearinghouse for about one-third of all students included in this report. The genders for the remaining students were imputed using a table of name-gender pairs that the Research Center developed using data publicly available from the Census Bureau and the Social Security Administration as well as the institution-reported data. The imputation used only those pairs in which the name had at least two instances and was associated with a single gender in at least 95 percent of the instances. The imputation is accurate in 99.6 percent of the cases with known gender. A detailed document on the development of our approach resides on the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center’s “Working With Our Data” Web page.


Pearson Foundation

The Current Term Enrollment Estimates report was made possible through the generous support of the Pearson Foundation.


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