BPS: Executive Summary Descriptive Summary of 1995-96 Beginning Postsecondary Students: Six Years Later
Types of Institutions Attended
Degree Completion Among Students Beginning at Public 2-Year Institutions
Types of Bachelor's Degree Completion Rates for Students Beginning at 4-Year Institutions
Rates of Completion at the First Institution Attended Versus at any 4-Year Institution
Rates Based on Different Subcategories of Students
Focus on Students With a Bachelor's Degree Goal at 4-Year Institutions
Degree Completion and Transfer From the First Institution Attended
Number of Years to Complete a Degree at Different Types of Institutions
Differences in Completion Rate by Enrollment Patterns and Student Characteristics
Profile of 1995-96 Beginners Who Completed a Bachelor's Degree by June 2001
Summary and Conclusion
Research Methodology
Full Report (PDF)
Executive Summary (PDF)
Degree Completion Among Students Beginning at Public 2-year Institutions

Public 2-year institutions serve a diverse body of students who enroll with a variety of educational goals. Associate’s degree completion rates are only partially valid as a measure of student success at public 2-year institutions, because it is not necessary to complete an associate’s degree before transferring to a 4-year institution. During their first year, about one-half of the beginning students at public 2-year colleges said that they intended to attain an associate’s degree, and another one-fourth intended to transfer to a 4-year institution and complete a bachelor’s degree. In the following years, about one-fourth of the beginners at public 2-year institutions did transfer to a 4-year institution.

Of the three-fourths of beginners at public 2-year institutions who intended to complete either an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree, 31 percent did so within 6 years: 23 percent completed an associate’s degree, and 13 percent completed a bachelor’s degree (these percentages include the 5 percent who completed both). Among those students who actually did transfer to a 4-year institution, 36 percent attained a bachelor’s degree within 6 years of starting community college (see figure).

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