In this instance, it is my understanding that “degree-seeking” is shorthand for “credential-seeking” more broadly construed. We use it to include certificate-seeking students. So when we say “degree-seeking” as a differentiation from “non-degree” students, “degree-seeking” in our case means they are enrolled in a program that leads to a certificate, AAS, AA, or AS. For us, non-degree students are in no particular program. They are simply taking one or more courses. They may eventually enroll into a program, and then their category would change.


We also have students who actually do not intend to complete their program here prior to transferring, such as liberal arts students who may complete only one year of an AA/AS program for transferring to a 4-year institution. They are still considered degree-seeking because they are in a degree-seeking program. If they were to opt to be a non-degree student, they would miss out on a variety of financial aid opportunities.


Ellie Shockley, Ph.D.

Institutional Research Analyst

Bismarck State College



From: Micah Thomas []
Sent: Tuesday, September 27, 2016 2:34 PM
To: Common Data Set <>
Subject: Re: [cds] Definition of "Degree-Seeking"


I would say that the classification “Degree-seeking” has more to do with the program in which the student is enrolled and less so with the student’s intention. For example, if it is a certificate bearing program, a student enrolled in such would not be classified as a degree-seeker…


My two cents…




Micah Thomas

Director of Enrollment Management

Katz School of Graduate & Professional Studies

Yeshiva University

New York, NY

P: 212.960.5400 ext. 6271 |


From: George Allen <>
Reply-To: "" <>
Date: Tuesday, September 27, 2016 at 3:13 PM
To: Common Data Set <>
Subject: [cds] Definition of "Degree-Seeking"




If we have a student who enrolls in credit-bearing courses as a first-time, full-time undergraduate, but who says they do not intend to graduate from our institution and indeed transfers out after their first year, should they be included in our cohort? Do they count as “degree-seeking”, or not?


Thank you,


George Allen

Director of Institutional Research

Hillsdale College