What are the graduation rates for students obtaining a bachelor's degree?
The 2011 graduation rate for full-time, first-time undergraduate students who began their pursuit of a bachelor's degree at a 4-year degree-granting institution in fall 2005 was 59 percent. That is, 59 percent of full-time, first-time students who began seeking a bachelor's degree at a 4-year institution in fall 2005 completed the degree at that institution within 6 years. Graduation rates are calculated to meet requirements of the 1990 Student Right to Know Act, which directed postsecondary institutions to report the percentage of students that complete their program within 150 percent of the normal time for completion (that is, within 6 years for students pursuing a bachelor's degree). Students who transfer and complete a degree at another institution are not included as completers in these rates.Among full-time, first-time undergraduate students who began seeking a bachelor's degree at a 4-year degree-granting institution in fall 2005, the 6-year graduation rate was 57 percent at public institutions, 65 percent at private nonprofit institutions, and 42 percent at private for-profit institutions. This graduation rate was 56 percent for males and 61 percent for females; it was higher for females than for males at both public (59 percent vs. 54 percent) and private nonprofit institutions (67 percent vs. 62 percent). At private for-profit institutions, however, males had a higher graduation rate than females; the rate was 48 percent for males and 36 percent for females.
At 2-year degree-granting institutions, 31 percent of full-time, first-time undergraduate students who began their pursuit of a certificate or associate's degree in fall 2008 attained it within 150 percent of the normal time required to do so. For example, this measure refers to students who were seeking a 2-year associate's degree and completed the degree within 3 years. This graduation rate was 20 percent at public 2-year institutions, 51 percent at private nonprofit 2-year institutions, and 62 percent at private for-profit 2-year institutions. At 2-year institutions overall, as well as at each type of 2-year institution, the completion rate was higher for females than for males. At 2-year private for-profit institutions, for example, 63 percent of females versus 59 percent of males completed a certificate or associate's degree within 150 percent of the normal time required.
Differences in 6-year graduation rates for full-time, first-time students who began seeking a bachelor's degree in fall 2005 varied according to institutions' level of selectivity. In particular, graduation rates were highest at postsecondary degree-granting institutions that were the most selective (i.e., had the lowest admissions acceptance rates). For example, at 4-year institutions with open admissions policies, 31 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.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2013). The Condition of Education 2013 (NCES 2013-037), Institutional Retention and Graduation Rates for Undergraduate Students.
Related Tables and Figures: (Listed by Release Date)
Other Resources: (Listed by Release Date)