A report from the National Center for Education Statistics provides a complex answer to the question of whether college and university students are getting any better at persisting in and completing their studies.
On the positive side, the report says, once students are enrolled in postsecondary institutions, more of them appear to be staying there and working toward degrees. Among students who entered a college or a university during the 1995-96 school year, the percentage who were still enrolled in a postsecondary school five years later-65 percent-was slightly higher than it had been for their counterparts starting out in college six years earlier. For that group, the percentage of students persisting five years later was 63 percent.
Yet the overall proportion of students actually earning bachelor's degrees over the same period was around 25 percent, the same as it had been five years earlier.
Vol. 24, Issue 14, Page 14Published in Print: December 1, 2004, as College Persistence