Effective dates are “snapshots” of the postsecondary enrollment and degree data against which all StudentTracker for High Schools queries are run.
There are three effective dates per year:
- Mid- to late-April
- Mid- to-late November
StudentTracker for High Schools queries are always queried against the previous or most recent effective date. For example, a Graduates or Request file submitted on August 1st would be queried against the previous April effective date. A Graduates or Request file submitted on September 1st would be queried against the previous August effective date.
Purpose of Effective Dates
Effective dates ensure your StudentTracker for High Schools reports reflect the most comprehensive enrollment and degree data provided by the colleges and universities for a given period. They also ensure that all secondary education institutions are matched against the same set of postsecondary data.
The Clearinghouse uses a sophisticated algorithm to track postsecondary data coverage. The effective date establishes the following:
- At least 47 of 50 states have reached at least 98% of active postsecondary institutions reported.
- No state has less than 95% of active postsecondary institutions reported.
The effective date also ensures that all high schools are matched against the same set of college and university data, establishing a framework within which rigorous statistical research can be organized.
In certain rare cases, the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center may set the effective date without one or both of the conditions being met. This is rarely done and usually exercised in situations where a significant proportion of a state’s active postsecondary institutions may be delayed in reporting data to the Clearinghouse (e.g. following a natural disaster such as a hurricane).
Significance of Certain Effective Dates
For the Clearinghouse purposes, there is no significance to any one effective date. However, most schools are interested in finding out the college enrollment rates of their recent graduates as soon as possible. For this reason, the November effective date is the most anticipated one followed by the April effective date and the August effective date.
- November Effective Date: The November effective date is considered the primary effective date because it occurs during the first fall enrollment period, which is any postsecondary enrollment that occurs between August 1st and October 31st, after your most recent class of graduating seniors. It is the first opportunity for the Clearinghouse to report freshmen enrollment.
- April Effective Date: The April effective date is the first opportunity for the Clearinghouse to report your last graduating class enrollments outside of the first fall after graduation.
- August Effective Date: The August effective date updates enrollments that occur later in the first year after high school and may contain degrees awarded (for earlier cohorts) in May or June. The August effective date includes the most recent postsecondary enrollment and degree data submitted to cover spring enrollment and degrees as well as summer term enrollment.
You can request a report for an earlier effective date in your Reports Library. See Viewing Reports for more information.
An academic year is any collegiate enrollment that occurs between August 15th of one year and August 14th of the following year. If a student was not enrolled between August 15th of one year and August 14th of the following year, they will not be included in StudentTracker for High School reports.
The Clearinghouse may not have the most recent college enrollment information for the most recent class until late November of that year. Students who graduate high school in June 2022, for example, will not appear in StudentTracker for High Schools reports until November 2022, when the fall effective date is established.