• Article

No longer overlooked New federal data reveal outcomes for non-traditional college students

The recently released Outcomes Measures (OM) data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) promise to shine a light on the large proportion of college students who previously were not reflected in existing federal graduation statistics. OM includes populations not covered by existing institutional graduation rates, including those students enrolled part time and those students who previously enrolled in postsecondary education. Additionally, statistics include the proportion of students transferring out, which was previously limited to colleges with a transfer-oriented mission. Unlike other sources that track students across colleges, OM data are disseminated annually and reported for each individual campus. Users can calculate values nationally, by state, or by type of college (for example, public research universities or minority-serving institutions). These new measures are particularly useful for understanding the experiences of non-traditional populations like students at community colleges and for-profit colleges—that are not always adequately captured by existing graduation statistics—and may change how we view these institutions’ performance.


Bentz, A. H., Isaac, J., & Radwin, D. (2018). No longer overlooked: New federal data reveal outcomes for non-traditional college students. The evoLLLution.