College Graduation Rate Stays the Same

More people are going to college than ever before, but they’re still not graduating. According to an article by Ashley Marchand in the Chronicle of Higher Education:

College enrollment continues to rise, and student aid along with it, but graduation rates have remained level, according to 2008 data released on Tuesday by the U.S. Education Department’s statistical arm.

About 57 percent of first-time, full-time students pursuing bachelor’s degrees at four-year institutions completed their degrees within six years at the colleges where they had begun their studies, the same rate as in the 2007 data, the National Center for Education Statistics reported in an analysis drawing on a series of surveys.

College enrollment is growing. College graduation isn’t. This means, in effect, that more people are going to college, and getting loans to do so, but they’re not doing very well once they get there.

About 65 percent of students attending private colleges graduated in six years. Only about 55 percent of public college students graduated within sex years of entering their institutions.

Cue the “too many people going to college” crowd, who will surely look upon this latest information with great enthusiasm.

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer