According to a new report released by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center on Wednesday, the number of students graduating from college in the 2020-21 academic year has begun to rise again after a temporary break in growth in the previous academic year.
The 2020-21 Undergraduate Degree Earners report noted that the number of graduate certificate earners increased by 1.1 percent in that academic year, to a total of 3.7 million graduates. The report concludes that the increase in the number of students who obtained the stacked credentials could be attributed to the increase, including 22,000 students who completed their bachelor’s degree after transferring from the community college. However, the growth was uneven across the type of certificate.
The number of graduates stabilized for the first time in the 2020-21 academic year, after a 0.9 percent decline in first-year graduates the previous year, at a loss of more than 25,000 students. The number of associate degree and undergraduate degrees also increased by 0.3 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively. However, the number of certificates obtained has declined by 2.6 per cent and the downward trend has continued.
The number of first-time undergraduates and associate graduates under the age of 25 also continued to decline, with the number of first-time undergraduates increasing by 1.4 percent. For the first time, graduates grew significantly by 4.3 percent in the 1930s.
Mikiung Ryu, director of research publications at the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, said in a press release: “Overall growth was led by stacked certificate earners, but overall there was no growth for first-time graduates. It means the growing dilemma of whether or not to pursue post-secondary education. “