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Graduation rates

Question:
What are the graduation rates for students obtaining a bachelor's degree?

Response:
The 2012 graduation rate for first-time, full-time undergraduate students who began their pursuit of a bachelorís degree at a 4-year degree-granting institution in fall 2006 was 59 percent. That is, 59 percent of first-time, full-time students who began seeking a bachelorís degree at a 4-year institution in fall 2006 completed the degree at that institution within 6 years. Graduation rates are calculated to meet requirements of the 1990 Student Right to Know Act, which required postsecondary institutions to report the percentage of students that complete their program within 150 percent of the normal time for completion, which is within 6 years for students pursuing a bachelorís degree. Students who transfer and complete a degree at another institution are not included as completers in these rates.

Among first-time, full-time undergraduate students who began seeking a bachelorís degree at a 4-year degree-granting institution in fall 2006, the 6-year graduation rate was 57 percent at public institutions, 66 percent at private nonprofit institutions, and 32 percent at private for-profit institutions. The 6-year graduation rate was 56 percent for males and 61 percent for females; it was higher for females than for males at both public (60 vs. 54 percent) and private nonprofit institutions (68 vs. 63 percent). However, at private for-profit institutions males had a higher graduation rate than females (35 vs. 28 percent).

Differences in 6-year graduation rates for first-time, full-time students who began seeking a bachelorís degree in fall 2006 varied according to institutionsí level of selectivity. In particular, graduation rates were highest at postsecondary degree-granting institutions that were the most selective (i.e., had the lowest admissions acceptance rates), and graduation rates were lowest at institutions that were the least selective (i.e., had open admissions policies). For example, at 4-year institutions with open admissions policies, 33 percent of students completed a bachelorís degree within 6 years. At 4-year institutions where the acceptance rate was less than 25 percent of applicants, the 6-year graduation rate was 86 percent.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2014). The Condition of Education 2014 (NCES 2014-083), Institutional Retention and Graduation Rates for Undergraduate Students.

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National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
U.S. Department of Education