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B&B: Executive Summary  A Descriptive Summary of 1999-2000 Bachelor's Degree Recipients 1 Year Later
Profile of 1999-2000 Bachelor's Degree Recipients
The Institutional Path to a Bachelor's Degree
Time to Degree
Postbaccalaureate Activities
Research Methodology
Full Report (PDF)
Executive Summary (PDF)
 The Institutional Path to a Bachelor's Degree

The undergraduate enrollment path that students follow is an important precursor to examine when investigating time to degree. Many factors influence students’ first entry into postsecondary education, and some students do not expect or plan to complete a bachelor’s degree when they first attend college (Berkner, He, and Forrest Cataldi 2002). Students who begin at certain types of institutions, such as community colleges, have to transfer to complete the bachelor’s degree; as a result, their path to completion may take longer. This section and subsequent sections of the report are restricted to first-time bachelor’s degree recipients—those who had not already completed a bachelor’s degree before earning one in 1999–2000.

Among 1999–2000 first-time bachelor’s degree recipients, one-half began postsecondary enrollment at public 4-year institutions: 15 percent at nondoctorate-granting institutions, and 35 percent at doctorate-granting institutions. An additional one-fifth (20 percent) began at public 2-year colleges. Fifteen percent began college at private not-for-profit 4-year nondoctorate-granting institutions, and 12 percent at private not-for-profit doctorate-granting institutions. Relatively few students began at private for-profit institutions or other institutions (1 percent each). (See figure)

College graduates whose parents had more education were more likely than those whose parents had less education to have begun at private not-for-profit 4-year institutions. On the other hand, parents’ educational attainment was inversely related to the likelihood of beginning at a public 2-year institution or a private for-profit institution. In addition, younger students were more likely than older students to have first enrolled at public or private not-for-profit doctorate-granting 4-year institutions and were less likely to have begun at public 2-year institutions.

The majority of bachelor’s degree recipients in 1999–2000 completed the degree at public institutions. Overall, 65 percent graduated from public institutions, and one-third (33 percent) graduated from private not-for-profit institutions. The remainder, 1.5 percent, received a bachelor’s degree from private for-profit institutions. A larger proportion completed a degree at public doctorate-granting institutions than at public nondoctorate-granting institutions, but the reverse was true among graduates of private not-for-profit institutions. (See figure)

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