New statistics on college-completion rates by state give a more comprehensive—and encouraging—graduation picture than traditional federal data by including transfer and part-time students.
For its new state-level report, the Herndon, Va.-based National Student Clearinghouse tracked 2.7 million students who began college in 2008 for six years to document their pathways. It included full-time and part-time students who attended two-year public colleges, four-year public universities, and four-year private nonprofit institutions.
While about 50 percent of U.S. students who started at a four-year public institution graduated from that school within six years, another 13 percent finished elsewhere, boosting the total completion rate for four-year schools to 63 percent, according to the findings.
The transfer activity varied widely by state, with 25 percent of students who started at one four-year school in Minnesota finishing at another, while just 7 percent did so in Nevada. Across all categories of schools, the six-year graduation rate was 55 percent for students followed through 2014.
A version of this article appeared in the March 04, 2015 edition of Education Week as College Graduation