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EPI's weekly illustration of education data trends — December 13, 2018

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Six-Year Graduation Rates for Students at Four-Year Institutions by Type of Aid Received (2011-12 Cohort by 2017-18)

 

The EPIGraph below uses data from the National Center for Education Statistics to describe the college outcomes of full-time, first-time students BA-directed students by the type of aid received (or not received). Sixty-one percent of all students, regardless of control of institution, graduated by the six-year mark, compared to 60 percent at public, four-year institutions, 67 percent at private, not-for-profit four-year institutions, and 23 percent at private, for profit four-year institutions.

The bigger story is the difference in graduation rates by receipt of student aid. Receiving a Pell Grant and/or a subsidized student loan serves as a proxy for low-income, since both are means-tested by family income. As a result, students who receive a Pell Grant are poorer than those who do not. Per significant research on this issue, low-income students traditionally graduate at rates below other students. These latest data illustrate that this trend continues today.

By example, while 61 percent of students attending a four-year, bachelor's cohort graduated within six years of starting college, only 48 percent of those who received a Pell Grant graduated in the same amount of time, and 63 percent of those who received a subsidized loan but no Pell Grant and 70 percent of those who received no Pell and no subsidized loans graduated.

The same trend follows for each type of institution, suggesting that those with considerable financial need (e.g., Pell grants) have a much lower graduation rate compared to more affluent students, and students with no significant need graduating at the highest rates.

Students attending private, not-for-profit institutions have higher graduation rates than those at public, four-year institutions. Of interest is that the graduation rates at for-profit institutions are far lower than the other institutions.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, IPEDS, Winter 2017–18, Graduation Rates component (provisional data). 

 

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