Terminology in Part 3: Persistence and Transfer

Key terms in this report may be used in different ways by some college administrators. For clarification, we’ve provided definitions for these terms as used in this report.

  • Dropping out: When a student from the ACT-tested high school graduating class of 2012 enrolled at a postsecondary institution during fall 2012 but did not subsequently enroll at that institution or any postsecondary education institution during fall 2013. This is a point-in-time definition of “dropout” and should not imply that the student will not reenroll at some point in the future.
  • Persisting: When a student from the ACT-tested high school graduating class of 2012 enrolled at a postsecondary institution during fall 2012 and subsequently enrolled at that institution or any postsecondary education institution during fall 2013.
  • Transferring: When a student from the ACT-tested high school graduating class of 2012 enrolled at a postsecondary institution during fall 2012 and subsequently enrolled at a different postsecondary education institution during fall 2013.

Enrollment during fall 2012 and fall 2013 are collected only for institutions that participated in The National Student Clearinghouse®. Data from The National Student Clearinghouse accounts for 95% of all enrollments in Title IV, degree-granting institutions in the nation.