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PEDAR: Executive Summary  College Persistence on the Rise? Changes in 5-Year Degree Completion and Postsecondary Persistence Rates Between 1994 and 2000
Changes in Student Population
Changes in Student Borrowing
Changes in Degree Completion and 5-Year Persistence
Changes by gender, Race/Ethnicity, and Income
Research Methodology
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Executive Summary (PDF)
 Changes in Degree Completion and 5-Year Persistence: Changes by Gender, Race/Ethnicty, and Income

The analysis detected some variations in postsecondary completion and persistence measures by demographic characteristics; however, most of these changes were observed among students in specific institution types rather than among all students. In fact, the main finding overall—the increase in the percentage of students still enrolled in a 4-year institution—held for both men and women, for White students, and across all income levels (table 6).

Figure B illustrates changes by demographic characteristics for students who began in 4-year institutions. Differences in the combined 5-year degree completion and persistence rates were found primarily for those in public 4-year institutions where males, Whites, and low-income students experienced increases over time, while changes were not detected for women, other racial/ethnic groups, or higher income levels (table 7). Despite their financial disadvantage, the trends within income levels indicate that low-income students who first enrolled in public 4-year colleges improved their combined persistence and degree completion rate (figure C). Apparent increases for middle- and high-income students in the same sector were not statistically significant. In contrast to public 4-year institutions, among students who started in private not-for-profit 4-year institutions, high-income students improved their combined degree completion and persistence rate, while no change was detected for lower income students or for any other group of students (table 8).

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National Center for Education Statistics -
U.S. Department of Education