Nebraska's Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education

Higher Education Progress Report

The 2024 Nebraska Higher Education Progress Report is the 18th annual progress report designed to provide the Nebraska Legislature with comparative statistics to monitor and evaluate progress toward achieving three key priorities for Nebraska's postsecondary education system. These priorities were developed by the 2003 LR 174 Higher Education Task Force and described in detail in a 2004 report published by the Coordinating Commission. They are:

  1. Increase the number of students who enter postsecondary education in Nebraska;

  2. Increase the percentage of students who enroll and successfully complete a degree; and

  3. Reduce, eliminate and then reverse the net out-migration of Nebraskans with high levels of educational attainment.

This report is a comparative analysis that measures and evaluates performance in respect to each priority.

Presentation given to Commissioners on March 15, 2024

Report by section:

Priority 1: Increasing Postsecondary Enrollments

Priority 2: Increasing College Retention and Graduation Rates

Freshmen retention rates and college graduation rates based on data collected by the Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), which is maintained by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) in the U.S. Department of Education.

  • Section 2: Introduction

  • Section 2.1: Freshmen Retention Rates

  • Section 2.2: College Graduation and Transfer Rates within 150% of Normal Time

  • Section 2.3: National Student Clearinghouse Report about Completion and Persistence Rates

Priority 3: Reversing the Net Out-Migration of College-Educated Nebraskans

The number of college-educated adults who recently migrated to Nebraska, compared to the estimated number who left the state.

  • Section 3: Reversing the Net Out-Migration of College-Educated Nebraskans


  • Appendix 1: Nebraska College Enrollments

  • Appendix 2: Actual and Projected Numbers of Nebraska High School Graduates

  • Appendix 3: Nebraska High School Graduation and Dropout Rates

  • Appendix 4: Nebraska Scores on ACT Tests

  • Appendix 5: Nebraska College Continuation Rates

  • Appendix 6: Nebraska and Non-Nebraska, First-Time Freshmen Migration Data

  • Appendix 7: Nebraska First-Time Freshmen Enrollments by Gender and by Race/Ethnicity

  • Appendix 8: Financial Aid Programs

  • Appendix 9: IPEDS Freshmen Retention Rates

  • Appendix 10: IPEDS College Graduation Rates within 150% of Normal Time

  • Appendix 11: IPEDS College Transfer Rates within 150% of Normal Time

  • Appendix 12: NSC Report about Completion and Persistence Rates

  • Appendix 13: Migration Data


Archived Reports

Note: Versions of the Progress Report prior to 2012 contain incorrect data due to reporting errors by several institutions. These errors have been corrected for the 2012 through the current editions. For this reason, please do not reference any reports prior to 2012. It is generally advised to reference the most recent edition. If you have any questions about the usability of previous editions, please contact the Coordinating Commission's Research Coordinator at 402-471-0031.

2004 Baseline Report for LR 174 Higher Education Task Force: Challenges and Opportunities for Nebraska (Volumes I and II)