Data Show 40% Of American College Students Never Graduate
 

The Institute of Education Sciences

The 6-year graduation rate (150 percent graduation rate) for first-time, full-time undergraduate students who began seeking a bachelor’s degree at a 4-year degree-granting institution in fall 2010 was 60 percent. That is, by 2016 some 60 percent of students had completed a bachelor’s degree at the same institution where they started in 2010. The 6-year graduation rate was 59 percent at public institutions, 66 percent at private nonprofit institutions, and 26 percent at private for-profit institutions. The 6-year graduation rate was 63 percent for females and 57 percent for males; it was higher for females than for males at both public (62 vs. 56 percent) and private nonprofit (68 vs. 63 percent) institutions. However, at private for-profit institutions, males had a higher 6-year graduation rate than females (28 vs. 23 percent).

Six-year graduation rates for first-time, full-time students who began seeking a bachelor’s degree in fall 2010 varied according to institutional selectivity. In particular, 6-year graduation rates were highest at institutions that were the most selective (i.e., those that accepted less than 25 percent of applicants) and were lowest at institutions that were the least selective (i.e., those that had open admissions policies). For example, at 4-year institutions with open admissions policies, 32 percent of students completed a bachelor’s degree within 6 years. At 4-year institutions where the acceptance rate was less than 25 percent of applicants, the 6-year graduation rate was 88 percent.

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