What are the graduation rates for students obtaining a bachelor's degree?
The 6-year graduation rate (150 percent graduation rate) for first-time, full-time undergraduate students who began seeking a bachelor’s degree at a 4-year degree-granting institution in fall 2010 was 60 percent. That is, by 2016 some 60 percent of students had completed a bachelor’s degree at the same institution where they started in 2010. The 6-year graduation rate was 59 percent at public institutions, 66 percent at private nonprofit institutions, and 26 percent at private for-profit institutions. The 6-year graduation rate was 63 percent for females and 57 percent for males; it was higher for females than for males at both public (62 vs. 56 percent) and private nonprofit (68 vs. 63 percent) institutions. However, at private for-profit institutions, males had a higher 6-year graduation rate than females (28 vs. 23 percent).
Six-year graduation rates for first-time, full-time students who began seeking a bachelor’s degree in fall 2010 varied according to institutional selectivity. In particular, 6-year graduation rates were highest at institutions that were the most selective (i.e., those that accepted less than 25 percent of applicants) and were lowest at institutions that were the least selective (i.e., those that had open admissions policies). For example, at 4-year institutions with open admissions policies, 32 percent of students completed a bachelor’s 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 88 percent.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2018). The Condition of Education 2018 (NCES 2018-144), Undergraduate Retention and Graduation Rates.
Related Tables and Figures: (Listed by Release Date)
- 2018, Digest of Education Statistics 2017, Table 326.10. Grad. rate from first institution attended for first-time, full-time bachelor's degree-seeking students at 4-year postsec. institutions, by race/ethnicity, time to completion, sex, ctrl. of institution, and acceptance rate...1996 through 2010
- 2018, Digest of Education Statistics 2017, Table 326.20. Graduation rate from first institution attended within 150 percent of normal time for first-time, full-time degree/certificate-seeking students at 2-year institutions: Selected cohort entry years, 2000 through 2013
- 2018, Digest of Education Statistics 2017, Table 326.30. Retention of first-time degree-seeking undergraduates at degree-granting postsecondary institutions, by attendance status, level and control of institution, and percentage of applications accepted: Selected years, 2006 to 2016
- 2018, Digest of Education Statistics 2017, Table 326.40. Percentage distribution of first-time postsecondary students starting at 2- and 4-year institutions during the 2003-04 academic year, by highest degree attained, enrollment status, and selected characteristics: Spring 2009
- 2018, Digest of Education Statistics 2017, Table 326.50. Number and percentage distribution of first-time postsecondary students starting at 2- and 4-year institutions during the 2011-12 academic year, by attainment and enrollment status and selected characteristics: Spring 2014
Other Resources: (Listed by Release Date)
- 2018, Beginning Postsecondary Students Longitudinal Study (BPS): BPS studies follow students when they first begin their postsecondary education.
- 2018, Graduation Rates for Selected Cohorts, 2008–13; Outcome Measures for Cohort Year 2008; Student Financial Aid, Academic Year 2015–16; and Admissions in Postsecondary Institutions, Fall 2016: First Look (Provisional Data)
- 2018, Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS): IPEDS is a system of surveys designed to collect data from all primary providers of postsecondary education.
- 2017, Graduation Rates for Selected Cohorts, 2007–12; Outcome Measures for Cohort Year 2007; Student Financial Aid, Academic Year 2014–15; and Admissions in Postsecondary Institutions, Fall 2015: First Look (Provisional Data)
- 2017, NCES Blog: Expanding Student Success Rates to Reflect Today’s College Students