This week, the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center released a report on college completion rates. In the study, they followed 2.3 million students who began college in 2007 over a six year period. Click here to see the report.
To wrap additional context around the research, from 1970-2009, undergraduate enrollments more than doubled, yet completion rates remain unchanged. So, while increasing numbers of students have access to college, not enough of them are crossing the finish line with a degree or certificate. Complicating matters are the large numbers of students who arrive at college unprepared to do college-level work (75% of students are not ready). Add to that budget cuts and increased pressure to prove the value of a college degree, and institutions are scrambling to raise their completion rates.
Donald Hossler, former director of the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center had this to say:
“If colleges want to get serious about raising their completion rates, the growing number of disadvantaged students will need the kind of mandatory tutoring and intensive advising Division I athletes get.”
To learn more about the impact of online tutoring on retention and persistence rates, visit us at www.tutor.com/higher-education.
KEY TAKEAWAYS FROM THE RESEARCH:
- 54% of students who enrolled in college for the first time in 2007 completed their degree program within 6 years
- This rate climbs to 56% if we include dual-enrolled students (high school students who take college-credit courses)
- Less than half of students go to college full-time.
- 41% are exclusively full-time
- 6% are exclusively part-time
- 52% are mixed enrollment (meaning some terms they were full-time, others part-time)
- Few part-time students reach the college completion finish line.
- Only 21.9% complete a degree within 6 years
- Only 11% are still enrolled during final year of 6 year study period
- 67.1% not enrolled at all within 6 year time period
- Nearly one in four students who completed a degree or certificate (23.4%) did so at an institution other than where they first enrolled.
- Completion rates based on type of institution where students started:
- Two-year public: 39.9%
- Four-year public: 63.5%
- Four-year private nonprofit: 72.8% (most likely to graduate)
- Four-year private for-profit: 42.4%
- Two-year private nonprofit: 52.7%
- Two-year private for-profit: 62.4%
- The age when students enter college has a big impact on completion rates.
- Traditional (under age 20): 59.7% completion rate
- Adult Learners (over age 24): 43.5%
- Delayed Entry (between 20-24): 40.8%
- Bottom line: Students fresh from high school completed at a much higher rate than both adult learners and delayed entry students.
- Women slightly outperformed men.
- Women’s completion rates: 59.5%
- Men’s completion rates: 52.8%