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Degrees When Due

Degrees When Due (DWD) is an innovative, nationwide completion initiative designed to improve student attainment rates through data-driven strategies and tactics.


Across the country, 40.4 million adults have earned some college credits, but stopped out before earning a degree. To promote completion, the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) launched an innovative, nationwide completion initiative: Degrees When Due (DWD). DWD helps participating institutions improve their student completion rates by sharing data-driven strategies and tactics, like degree auditing, adult reengagement, and reverse transfer.

Through DWD, institutions apply an equity lens to their own real-time student data to ensure that todays’ students – students of color, low-income students, working students, student parents, and many others – are re-engaged to cross the finish line. DWD helps institutions successfully navigate the technical work of data mining and degree auditing in the course of fundamentally rethinking their campus completion culture, addressing equity gaps, and tackling institutional policies in order to remove barriers that cause adult learners to stop out before completing.

DWD builds on the evidence-based and equity-focused degree reclamation lessons learned from two earlier models – Project Win-Win and Credit When It’s Due (CWID) –  to help campuses and postsecondary systems optimize policies to identify and support returning students.

Launched in 2018, the initiative has grown to include 23 states and nearly 200 institutes of higher education.