The American Enteprise Institute has released a new report entitled “Diplomas and Dropouts-Which Colleges Actually Graduate Their Students (and Which Don’t)“.
The report analyzes the six year graduation rate at over 1,300 colleges and universities in the United States including virtually all of the best known colleges. The range of graduation rates is dramatic particularly at the less selective colleges.
One of the great things about this report is that the authors break down the graduation rates based on the selectivity of the various colleges. So readers who are looking at selective colleges are not trying to compare college graduate rates with colleges that are considered the most selective. The authors used Barron’s Profile of American Colleges to determine which selectivity catagory a college should be placed into.
The report also includes top 10 and bottom 10 lists for graduate rates for colleges in each of the catagories. The report further breaks colleges down by geographical area and by state so that if you have an interest in attending college near where you live you can look only at those colleges.
The authors of the report use graduation data from the US Department of Education which some argue has some inaccuracies. Even if true, most of the data is correct and it allows the reader to get an overall picture of graduation rates across various types of colleges throughout the country.
The one qualifier I would use in viewing this report is that it reports the six year graduation rate at four year colleges and universities. This is the standard method of reporting graduation rates but I would also suggest that if you find a college in which you have an interest, check with the college to find out what their four year graduation rate is. Many colleges have dramatically different four year and six year graduation rates and ideally, you want to complete your education in four rather than six years.