How a National Higher Ed Network Leads to Student Success


This month, we are celebrating the one-year anniversary of the ReUp Network! Our network, catered to stopout students, is building an ecosystem of programs and institutions to support the 36 million Americans with some college and no degree. The ReUp Network provides each student access to the best-fit academic path for their return to school and, ultimately, academic, professional, and life success.

ReUp has ensured that this network is a core part of our partnerships because we know the importance of the opportunity for stopout students to return to the best-fit institution according to their needs. This, in turn, ensures that institutions are receiving the best-fit students for their offerings.

In this post, we go into the reasons why a national network is a largely unmet need in stopout students’ decision to re-enroll. We then show what impact your institution can have by partnering with us through the results that our network of colleges and universities has achieved in just one year.

Why so many students need a higher ed network

Many stopouts find themselves with very different needs when returning to school. There are various reasons why students are forced to alter their educational plans, whether their timeline is months or years of being out of school.

This often means that the student’s original institution no longer fits their needs and objectives. Today, around one-third of all students transfer schools before earning their degree. However, institutional transfer pathways are often confusing, and a transfer-friendly culture does not yet exist in the higher education landscape. The lack of a national network that offers comprehensive academic options and locations bars millions of students from getting their degrees.

In this section, we go into the many reasons why students may need access to a higher ed network that prepares them for success by giving them access to their best-fit institution.

Location, location, location

Jobs, family matters, relationships, and personal needs are just some of the reasons why a student may need to change location in the middle of their schooling. And as we become an increasingly mobile nation, it is only likely for these trends to increase.

While online options may facilitate students’ ability to remain at the same institution, they may lack technological access or prefer in-person learning. Giving students who have changed their location a way to complete their degrees more seamlessly is vital for their success and educational equity overall.

Need for flexibility

As a result of changes to financial circumstances, personal situations, and perspectives on the future, many students now have different requirements for their academic journeys. This includes changed degree plans, timelines, and program flexibility.

In particular, COVID-19 has led to a variety of life-changing circumstances for students, especially those already facing disadvantages. For example, while an in-person-only setting may have worked for a student before COVID, having to take on extra hours at work may mean that they need access to evening or online courses.

Without access to more flexible options to return to school, stopout students in particular face multiple challenges in continuing or returning to their studies.

Change in academic plans

Deciding on a course of study is an understandably high-stakes task. Especially for first-generation college students, there is a lot of pressure to ensure that they make the most of their time and money. Sometimes, stopout students can’t return to their original institution because the program or modality they are now looking for is not available.

What’s more, how they define their goals can change as they get experience with their program topics or learn more about the practical application of their degrees. In fact, 60% of college graduates say they would have changed their majors if they had the chance.

Regardless of how good or vast an institution’s opportunities may be, no one school can be a perfect fit for each and every student. Considering the evolving needs of students in their course of study, a collaborative network is so important to ensuring that students’ needs are met.

Financial difficulties

Most of us, especially students, are at risk of unforeseen financial circumstances that may force us to make sacrifices or change our plans. When finances become a struggle, students may need to pause their tuition payments or consider transferring to less expensive institutions.

For example, a student may choose to transfer to a more economical institution due to family commitments.

Given the many reasons why students may need to change institutions, the lack of a transfer-friendly in higher education contributes significantly to the college completion crisis. Access to a wide range of programs or transferring can solve this problem by enabling them to return to school and earn their degree.

How the ReUp Network is solving these problems

Through our data and coaches’ sustained interactions with stopout students, at ReUp we have developed a deep understanding of the support this population needs to return to school and finish their degrees. The ReUp Network is a dynamic and equitable ecosystem designed to meet the needs of all students, providing the easiest way for stopouts to return or transfer and find the right institutional fit. It was created to fill the gap between motivated stopouts and the higher education institutions who seek to support these learners.

Since its inception one year ago, the ReUp Network has started tackling the above-mentioned issues and achieved promising initial results. As we build and expand the network, these results will only grow and further support the changing needs of students of all ages.

Increasing students’ access to more academic options

In just one year, we have already given over 60,000 students access to our network of universities and colleges.

By providing stopout students with a wide range of different types of institutions, programs, and learning styles, we are removing multiple barriers in order for them to get back on an academic pathway that best fits their needs.

For example, Nicole Carr is a student who found her way back to school after ReUp helped her find the perfect school for her needs within our network. After learning about Nicole’s work and goals, her Success Coach was able to help her plan her academic path forward. Nicole is now studying at Excelsior College. Learn more about her story and how the options provided by the ReUp Network encouraged here.

Ultimately, by providing these opportunities to students whose lives have likely taken multiple turns since leaving school, ReUp nurtures meaningful outcomes for a largely underserved population.

Providing comprehensive options for programs

The ReUp Network provides students access to over 2,000 academic programs tailored to the adult learner and stopout students looking to finish their degrees.

By increasing the number of academic programs available to stopout students, we are catering to the largely unmet needs of students who have changed their career plans and areas of academic focus.

By partnering with us, you can market your institution’s programs as part of this national network to a wide audience, using your offerings to fulfil the changing needs of thousands of students.

Building the number of partners in our network

Over the past year, we have gained 20 college and university partners. These schools are innovating with us to tackle the college completion crisis and support students to return to school and graduate successfully.

As more partners join the ReUp Network, the opportunities to collaboratively support stopout students towards successful careers are only growing.

Helping students plan for the right career fit

We recognize that a huge barrier to returning to school is when students don’t have a vision or see a clear purpose to their studies. So, in addition to the opportunities provided by the ReUp Network, we also have partnered with jobZology, an easy-to-use platform for self- discovery, exploration, and connection with training, education and employment.

This partnership allows the students we connect with to find the right career fit, and our coaches help them plan accordingly.

Learn more about joining the ReUp Network

By joining our national network of higher education institutions, you can boost enrollment and student success by attracting motivated and qualified transfer students through our network partners. This service is bundled with our proprietary technology, which optimizes our engagement with students and gives us actionable insights based on millions of interactions, and our unique coaching model that is equity- and student-centered.

Joining is easy and there are no upfront costs — we are only compensated for enrollment success. After obtaining some baseline data on your stopout population, ReUp identifies and engages students. Our Success Coaches then work with students to find the program that best matches their needs and goals. They work with students individually all the way through to graduation, constantly ensuring that their needs are met and concerns are spoken to.

To learn more about the benefits of joining our innovative network, connect with us today!