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Graduation rates

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

Response:

The overall 6-year graduation rate for first-time, full-time undergraduate students who began seeking a bachelor’s degree at 4-year degree-granting institutions in fall 2012 was 62 percent. That is, by 2018 some 62 percent of students had completed a bachelor’s degree at the same institution where they started in 2012. The 6-year graduation rate was 61 percent at public institutions, 67 percent at private nonprofit institutions, and 25 percent at private for-profit institutions. The overall 6-year graduation rate was 65 percent for females and 59 percent for males; it was higher for females than for males at both public (64 vs. 58 percent) and private nonprofit (70 vs. 64 percent) institutions. However, at private for-profit institutions, males had a higher 6-year graduation rate than females (26 vs. 25 percent).

Six-year graduation rates for first-time, full-time undergraduate students who began seeking a bachelor’s degree at 4-year degree-granting institutions in fall 2012 varied according to institutional selectivity. In particular, 6-year graduation rates were highest at institutions that were the most selective (i.e., those with acceptance rates of less than 25 percent) and were lowest at institutions that were the least selective (i.e., those with an open admissions policy). For example, at 4-year institutions with an open admissions policy, 34 percent of students completed a bachelor’s degree within 6 years. At 4-year institutions with acceptance rates of less than 25 percent, the 6-year graduation rate was 90 percent.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2020). The Condition of Education 2020 (NCES 2020-144), Undergraduate Retention and Graduation Rates.

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