NC State Ag Economist Dr. Mike Walden – “College Completion Rates”


Mary:  I’m Mary Walden, with economist MW, welcoming you to the economic perspective.  Today’s program looks at college completion rates.  Mike, we know that all individuals who begin college don’t necessarily finish and receive a degree.  What do the statistics tell us on the percentage of college entrants who do get a degree?

Mike: Summary Answer

  1. Typically measured by the six-year graduation rate
  2. But some issues in measuring
  3. Only include students who enter and stay at the institution?
  4. What if leave and finish somewhere else?
  5. How account for students in school full-time versus part-time
  6. Fortunately a group called the National Student Clearinghouse keeps these data – but only available for all – not available for individual colleges
  7. Data for students entering in 2009 show the following
  8. Including a cross-second of full and part time students, 6 year grad rate as same institution was 41%; but if include students who went elsewhere to graduate, rises to 53%
  9. Big difference between full time and part time: 6 year rate for full time graduating at entering or another institution: 74%; but part-time only 20%
  10. I’m MW


Mary:  And I’m Mary Walden for the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service

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