Subject: NEW NCES REPORT! - Profile of Undergraduates in U.S. Postsecondary
Education Institutions: 2003-04, With a Special Analysis of Community
College Students

This report is the fifth in a series of reports that accompany the release
of the data from the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS). This
report includes an analysis of community college students, examining the
relationship between a measure of students’ degree commitment and their
likelihood of maintaining their enrollment over the 1-year period under

The study developed a taxonomy called the Community College Track, which
classifies students’ degree commitment (more, less, or not committed) based
on their reported intentions of completing a program of study (transfer,
associates degree, certificate, or no degree) and their attendance status
(at least half time or not) within their program of study.

Overall, some 49 percent of community college students were classified as
“more committed,” 39 percent as “less committed” and 12 percent as “not
committed.” The two largest groups were students classified as “more
committed” in transfer programs (29 percent) and “less committed” in
general associate’s degree programs (17 percent).

The results indicate that students who demonstrate a relatively strong
commitment to completing a program of study (i.e., they explicitly report
that either transfer or degree completion are reasons for attending and
they attend classes at least half time) are very likely to maintain their
enrollment for one year. Some 83 percent of the “more committed” students
did so, compared with 70 percent of “less committed” and 58 percent of
those designated as “not committed.”

To download, view and print the publication as a PDF file, please visit:

Norman A. Stahl
Professor and Chair
Literacy Education
GA 147
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, IL 60115

Phone: (815) 753-9032
FAX:   (815) 753-8563
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