EPI's weekly illustration of education data trends — March 1, 2017

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Six-Year Graduation Rates at Four-Year Institutions



The National Center for Education Statistics released a new "First Look" report this morning on six-year graduation rates (150 percent of normal time) at Title IV institutions across the United States. Focusing only on four-year institutions and four-year students, the chart below illustrates that 55 percent of all full-time, first-time students who begin their studies at a four-year public institution graduate within six-years of starting their studies. For private non-profit institutions, that number rises to 64 percent and is only 26 percent at private, for-profit institutions.

The second set of bars focuses solely on bachelor's degree-seeking students at four-year institutions who completed a bachelor's degree or equivalent. The previous set allowed for completion in other degrees or certificates, but at the same institution. Of this new filter, 59 percent of students at public institution received a BA or equivalent within six years, as did 66 percent a private, non-profit and 23 percent at private, for-profit institutions.

Looking at the public institutions only, we find that 41 percent of students who are bachelor's degree focused do not earn their degree within six years at the same institution.


SOURCE: Ginder, S.A., Kelly-Reid, J.E., and Mann, F.B. (2016). Graduation Rates for Selected Cohorts, 2007–12; Student Financial Aid, Academic Year 2014–15; Admissions in Postsecondary Institutions, Fall 2015: First Look (Provisional Data) (NCES 2017-084). U.S. Department of Education. Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved March 1, 2017 from http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch.