For colleges/universities the student dropout rate is normally defined as the percentage of students who start a course but don’t complete it with a passing grade. In the UK, university student dropout rates seem to be between 0 and 10%.

For professional bodies requiring exams to qualify (e.g. for accountancy, actuaries, and lawyers), the student dropout rate could be defined as the percentage of students who join but never qualify.

Qualify could have different meanings. The IFoA has been using qualify to mean reaching either Associate or Fellow, so using that definition, for a particular year of entry n we can calculate the qualification rate Q1 = Number of students who become Associates or Fellows / Total number of students who joined in year n, and an associated dropout rate D1 = 1 - Q1. (A similar dropout rate D2 could be calculated using a qualification rate Q2 using only the number of students who become Fellows, where Q2 <= Q1, and hence D2 >= D1). But for comparability with the IFoA I’m interested in looking at D1. For example, if the median time to qualify is n years, then an estimate of D1 would be 1 - Q1 where Q1 = number of new qualifiers today / number of new students n years ago. This figure could be calculated for each of “today” being 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, or as far back as figures are available.

To estimate this, I’m been trying to find statistics on the numbers of new qualifiers and new students joining in recent years, but I can’t seem to find any of this on the SOA website. A search for annual reports only seems to show the SOA Annual Report from 2009?

For CAS, annual reports do seem to be readily available from the CAS website. E.g. I can see the numbers of new qualifiers (Fellows and Associates) for each of 2021, 2020 and 2019 on page 10 of https://www.casact.org/sites/default/files/2022-06/Annual_Report_2021.pdf. But I can’t see any information on the number of new students - perhaps because (if I understand things correctly) students can’t join the CAS, only Associates or Fellows do (with a very small number of Affiliates)? Instead CAS students seem to join CAS Student Central, however, it does not seem easy to find out how many students join CAS Student Central each year?

Does anyone know whether the societies themselves have published any information about qualification rates or student dropout rates? If not, do you have any suggestions as to how to find out the numbers I am looking for (numbers of new qualifiers each year, numbers of new students each year, median time in years to reach Associate)?