Despite a number of very, very good schools, and a strong public university system, there are some things, it turns out, Texas doesn’t do at all well. One of them is facilitate college graduation. According to an article by Reeve Hamilton in the Texas Tribune:

For years, Texas universities have focused on getting more students, particularly low-income students, onto their campuses. The hard part, it turns out, is getting them to leave — with degrees.

Of the 32 Texas state universities tracked by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics, only five schools have self-reported graduation rates above 50 percent.

That’s right. Five schools. In fact, the top public universities, the University of Texas at Austin and Texas A & M, only graduate 78 percent of students in six years. At the school at the bottom of the list, Texas Southern University, only 12 percent of students leave the school with a degree in sex years.

State officials have known about the graduation rate problem, which most of them seem to think is a functional of the state’s efforts to increase college access, for years. No one’s figured out a good tactic to address graduation. Officials have proposed various projects—low interest loans, rewards for schools that increase graduation rates, working with high schools—that have all been shelved due to funding problems or a worry about perverse incentives. [Image via]

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