Tuesday, March 19, 2013


A new report by the National Student Clearinghouse gives graduation rates for four and two-year colleges, public and private, six years after initial enrollment by students in 2006. 

The Clearinghouse is an organization that collects enrollment and degree attainment information about individual students in over 90% of US colleges and Universities.  By analyzing this data, the Clearinghouse can report on graduation and progress toward degree attainment.

 As can be seen from the chart above, nationally, four year private non-profits have the highest completion rates follow by four-year publics and two-year private for-profits.  Two-year publics at 36.3% have the lowest graduation rates.  Individual state rates that can be viewed at the Clearing House report are also revealing.

The Clearinghouse in its report analyzes completion rates for part-time vs. full-time students and students who begin college before age 24 and those over 24.  Not surprisingly the graduation rate is highest for full-time students under 24 although for two-year publics those beginning over 24 have an almost identical rate.

Finally, what this report does not address is the financial burden on students  who have to work while attending college and who often drop out to support themselves and their families.  What is apparent, however, from the Clearinghouse report is the great waste of talent and resources represented by students who begin but do not complete their college education.  This is what the country as a whole should address.