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Research Center Releases “Completing College: A State-Level View of Student Completion Rates”

by | Mar 6, 2018 | Announcements, Research Reports, Signature Reports |

State-By-State Look at Six-Year Outcomes for Students Who Began Postsecondary Education in Fall 2011

The National Student Clearinghouse Research Center recently released, Completing College: A State-Level View of Student Completion Rates, the state supplement to the sixth annual report on national college completion rates. The new report provides a state-by-state look at the six-year outcomes for students who began postsecondary education in fall 2011.

According to the research, the national completion rate for the fall 2011 cohort who started in four-year public institutions was 64.7 percent. Meanwhile, in 24 states, the completion rate was higher than this national average for four-year public institutions.

In eight states (Connecticut, Iowa, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, South Carolina, Vermont, and Virginia), at least 75 percent of students who started at a four-year public institution completed a degree within six years. In three states (Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota), over half of the two-year public starters completed a credential in six years.

The national completion rate for the fall 2011 cohort who started in four-year public institutions was 64.7 percent. The national completion rate for those who started in two-year public institutions was 37.5 percent.

Other findings include:

  • The national completion rate for the fall 2011 cohort who started in two-year public institutions was 37.5 percent. In 24 states, the completion rate was higher than the national average.
  • The national completion rate for the fall 2011 cohort who started in four-year private nonprofit institutions was 76 percent. In 12 states, more than 80 percent of students who started at a four-year private nonprofit institution completed a degree within six years.
  • In 38 states, more than one in 10 students starting at four-year public institutions completed their first credential at a different institution. In five states (Minnesota, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Wisconsin), more than 15 percent of four-year public starters completed their first credential at a different institution.
  • Nationally, 15 percent of students who started at a two-year public institution completed a degree at a four-year institution with or without a two-year credential. In Illinois and Kansas, one in five two-year public starters finished in a four-year institution in six years.
  • The college completion rate for students who started in four-year public institutions increased from the fall 2010 cohort’s 62.4 percent to the fall 2011 cohort’s 64.7 percent, nationally. In 38 states, the college completion rate also increased from 2010 to 2011.
  • Nationally, 48.9 percent of adult learners who started in a four-year public institution completed a degree within six years. In Illinois and Texas, nearly three-quarters of adult learners completed a degree within the same period.
  • The overall completion rate for women who started at four-year public institutions was 68.5 percent whereas for men it was 61.1 percent, resulting in an overall national gender achievement gap at 7.5 percentage points. The gender gap in favor of women was largest in Maryland, North Dakota, and Utah (14 percentage points) and nonexistent in Maine, where both men and women’s six-year completion rate was 54 percent.

About the report

More than 2.2 million first-time degree-seeking students who started their postsecondary studies in the fall of 2011 make up the cohort examined in this study. The data for this report were drawn from the National Student Clearinghouse, which tracks 97 percent of college enrollments nationwide across all postsecondary institutions, including all institution types: two-year and four-year institutions, public and private institutions, and nonprofit and for-profit institutions.

 

Table i. Six-Year Outcomes by Starting Institution Type (N=2,264,948)

Institution Type Total Completion Rate (%) Completion at Same Institution (%) Completion at Different Institution (%) Still Enrolled (At Any Institution) (%) Not Enrolled (At Any Institution) (%)
Two-Year Four-Year
Overall

56.86

45.39 3.15 8.32 11.74 31.39
Four-Year Public

64.71

53.48 3.42 7.80 11.10 24.20
Four-Year Private Nonprofit

76.04

63.71 2.29 10.04 7.23 16.73
Four-Year Private For-Profit

35.25

22.08 1.95 11.22 10.62 54.12
Two-Year Public

37.53

26.48 3.35 7.70 15.21 47.26