Graduation by the Numbers

The Data Paint a Picture of Student Success and of Barriers Affecting Graduation Rates

Graduation Rates

The graduation rate for full-time first-time bachelor’s degree students in 2011 was 59%.  41% of students who begin undergraduate studies at degree granting institutions drop out. [These figures are based on a six-year window.]

The graduation rate for full-time first-time associate’s degree students in 2011 was 31%.  69% of students who begin undergraduate studies at degree granting institutions drop out.  [These figures are based on a three-year window.]

Why Students Leave

  • 54% cannot balance outside job responsibilities and class.
  • 31% cannot afford college costs.
  • 20% are not academically able to compete in the classes. This number is higher for those students enrolled in remedial classes.

Re-enrollment Rates

Only 38% of students who drop out of college ever return to college according to research conducted for With Their Whole Lives Ahead of Them, A Public Agenda Report for The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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Works Cited

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  With Their Whole Lives Ahead of Them, A Public Agenda Report. In “Why Do Students Drop Out or Opt Out” Community College Completion Corps.  Phi Theta Kappa.  2014.  http://www.cccompletioncorps.org/ccccorps/ptk/why-students-drop-out

Institute of Education Sciences. Fast Facts. Graduation Rates. The National Center for Education Statistics. http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=40

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