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Press Release
April 24, 2024

New Data: 2023 Re-Enrollment Initiatives Helped Thousands of Underserved Students Return to Higher Education

Analysis of nearly 26,000 students at 51 institutions reveals that 7% of students contacted by a coach re-enrolled—a rate 4x the national re-enrollment rate

PORTLAND, ORE. -- InsideTrack—the national nonprofit organization that pioneered the application of executive coaching for student success, re-enrollment and career placement in higher education—today announced results from its efforts to re-enroll stopped out students across 51 institutions in calendar year 2023. According to preliminary data compiled by InsideTrack, colleges and universities who deployed success coaches were able to contact more than 6,800 former students and ultimately help 1,850 (or 7% of all the student names provided)  register for courses—a rate 4 times higher than the national re-enrollment rate calculated by the National Student Clearinghouse.

“There are millions of talented, and often highly motivated, individuals in our communities who are near the finish line of not only earning a degree, but the prospect of a markedly better life and economic prospects,” said Ruth Bauer White, president of InsideTrack. “We’re proving that institutions can make a meaningful dent for the 40 million Americans with some college and no degree with the right resources, expertise and an institution-wide commitment. This is about creating pathways to possibility for Americans who are currently locked out of economic opportunity.”

Even as a growing number of good-paying jobs require education or training beyond high school, current projections show that many states across the country are projected to miss out on this goal by millions of college graduates or certificate-holders. At the same time, there are more than 40 million adults who have enrolled in college and left without receiving a degree or certificate. With college enrollment and completion rates stagnant in many regions of the country, a growing number of states, institutions and higher education systems have launched campaigns to re-engage former students and help them finish a degree or credential.

To support these re-enrollment efforts, InsideTrack reached out to nearly 26,000 former students through initiatives with 51 partner institutions. Teams of success coaches work one-on-one with former students to help them navigate the complex, and often daunting, process of returning to higher education after stopping out with the goal of helping balance the complex demands of work, family, and school responsibilities and get back on track to graduation. Interestingly, the institutions with the greatest success contacting and re-engaging students were a group of California community colleges, which presented an average re-enrollment rate of 22%.

DOWNLOADABLE REPORT: To go deeper, view InsideTrack’s “Reconnect, Re-Enroll and Rise” report for insights, best practices and ready-to-use tools to identify, engage and re-enroll adult learners.

The 51 partner institutions who participated in re-enrollment coaching initiatives represent a broad cross-section of colleges and universities that reflect the diverse demographics of higher education today, including 16 community and technical colleges (4 of which are Hispanic Serving Institutions), 14 public universities (including 11 HBCUs and 3 HSIs), and 21 private Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

InsideTrack’s unique approach to student re-enrollment uses one-on-one coaching—supported by a technology and analytics platform—to directly engage former students and help them navigate the enrollment process, define long-term goals, and plan to overcome potential barriers to completion. To help address the variety of challenges to re-enrollment that former students face, the re-enrollment programs help students identify on-campus resources ranging from financial aid to health and wellness and academic support services. In many cases, the coaching then continues throughout students’ college careers to help them complete their program of study.

“Re-enrollment coaching proved successful for our returning students,” said Dr. Sheila Quirk-Bailey, president at Illinois Central College. “The approach fits seamlessly with our broader strategic focus on providing holistic support for all learners. We've seen firsthand how personalized support empowers students to overcome challenges and realize their full potential. Re-enrollment coaching demonstrates our commitment to fostering equitable outcomes and rewriting the future, one student success story at a time."

The application of coaching for re-enrollment is a remarkably cost-effective way for institutions to build enrollment and help near-completers return to finish their degree. In the cross-institutional evaluation, InsideTrack found that participating colleges collectively will retain an estimated $30 million in tuition revenue in the first year based on the average tuition. Much of the re-enrollment work was funded through philanthropic grants in support of InsideTrack’s social impact mission.

“Helping the millions of Americans with some college and no degrees chart return pathways to higher education is one of the defining challenges facing states, higher education systems and communities,” said Mike Krause, senior advisor at the John M. Belk Endowment, who leads North Carolina Reconnect and previously launched the Tennessee Reconnect program during his time as the executive director of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission. "As communities and employers grapple with a vast shortage of talent, a growing number of policymakers, higher education leaders and grantmakers are all recognizing that bringing adult learners back to college campuses is an education and workforce imperative.”

Beyond its re-enrollment services, InsideTrack draws on more than 20 years of experience in student success and support to provide a suite of other offerings, ranging from retention coaching, career coaching, professional development and training, and other high-touch services designed to improve the success of students and employees. 

For more information on re-enrollment strategies and results, visit


About InsideTrack: InsideTrack is a mission-driven nonprofit that fuels positive change by empowering and advancing all learners to achieve their educational and career goals through the transformative power of coaching. We help people get the education they need to enhance well-being, create opportunity and secure meaningful employment — ultimately facilitating economic and social mobility. Since 2001, we have served over 3.2 million learners, partnering with more than 350 institutions and organizations to directly improve enrollment, retention, completion, and career advancement – tailoring our coaching outcomes to fit the needs of our partners and the learners they support. Our coaching methodology is evidence-based and research-confirmed, supporting all types of learners at every stage of their journey — especially those who face systemic barriers to postsecondary success. We are a catalyst for transformational impact, ultimately empowering learners and the organizations who serve them. To learn more, visit and follow us on LinkedIn @InsideTrack and X @InsideTrack.

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