Resources / Reports / Degree Reclamation Playbook

Degree Reclamation Playbook

Published Jan 2022
focus area Evidence-Based Completion


There are at least 39 million Americans who have attended college but needed to stop out before earning a degree. The Degree Reclamation Playbook supports practitioners seeking to reengage this population, capture the momentum of existing credits, and bring students across the degree finish line. Drawing on more than a decade of work, including IHEP’s Project Win-Win and Degrees When Due initiatives, this user-friendly guide includes a strategic assessment and an appendix full of carefully crafted worksheets and checklists. 

The Degree Reclamation Playbook focuses on two evidence-based and equity-focused strategies: adult reengagement and reverse transfer. Adult reengagement includes retroactively awarding degrees to students who meet degree requirements and identifying ways to reengage and reenroll students who are near completion. Reverse transfer, also referred to as “reverse credit transfer,” ensures that students are awarded the associate’s degrees they earn even after transferring from a two-year institution to a four-year institution by applying credits from the four-year institution back to the two-year institution.