Nationwide completion rates increased by more than two percentage points over the prior year, according to a report issued by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. The six‐year completion rate for the cohort who started in 2011 was 56.9 percent, higher than the pre‐recession highest completion rate of 56.1 percent. The completion rate correlates to 48,000 more graduates than the 2010 cohort the NSC studied in 2016, even with a slightly smaller cohort for the 2011 group.Key findings include decrease in two‐year institution completion ratesCombined with the findings from 2016, the report from 2017 indicates a trend of an increase in overall completion rates. The 2010 results showed that the nationwide completion rate had increased for the first time since the Great Recession, rising 1.9 percentage points to 54.8 percent. The results for the 2011 cohort surpassed the pre‐recession rate of completion for the first time.Other key findings from the report include:➢ The proportion of traditional‐aged students increased, jumping from 73.8 percent in 2016's study to 76.8 percent in 2017's study. Correspondingly, the report showed a decrease in the proportion of adult learners, decreasing from 18.8 percent to 13.7 percent of the cohort. There was no age data available for the remaining enrolled students.➢ Among traditional‐aged students, there was a jump in full‐time enrollment, from 39.5 percent in the 2010 cohort to 45.7 percent in the 2011 cohort. Of the students who enrolled exclusively full time, 80.1 percent completed a degree during the six‐year study, versus 20.5 percent of exclusively part‐time students, and 39.5 percent of mixed‐enrollment students.➢ The share of students enrolling in public four‐year institutions increased by 2.7 percent of the cohort, and 1.9 percent more enrolled at four‐year private nonprofit institutions than did students in the cohort of 2010.➢ The completion rate at four‐year public institutions also increased with this cohort, from 62.4 percent for those who first enrolled in 2010 to 64.7 percent for students who began in 2011. The nonprofit four‐year institutional completion rate also rose, from 73.9 percent for those who started in 2010 to 76 percent for the 2011 cohort.➢ Enrollment at two‐year institutions declined, with 37.3 percent of students in the 2010 cohort enrolled in a two‐year institution down to 33.8 percent of the 2011 cohort.➢ There was also an overall decline in the completion rate for students who started at a two‐year institution, dropping from 39.3 percent to 37.5 percent, regardless of whether completion occurred at a two‐year or four‐year institution. However, the study makes it clear that about half of this decrease can be accounted for by the exclusion of dual‐enrollment high school students, who were included in the 2010 cohort. With the inclusion of these students, the completion rate would have risen slightly, to 40.1 percent, in 2011.➢ More than half of the enrolled 2011 cohort were women (53.7 percent). Women enrolled at a higher rate than male students regardless of race or ethnicity, with the largest discrepancy coming for black women, who accounted for 57.9 percent of all enrolled black students.➢ There were discrepancies between completion rates among students of varying races and ethnicities. White and Asian students were the most likely to complete their degree within six years, with completion rates of 68.9 percent and 66.1 percent, respectively.➢ Hispanic and black students had the lowest completion rates, at 48.6 percent and 39.5 percent, respectively. Black students were the only group who were more likely to discontinue enrollment than to receive a credential within six years (total completion rate of 39.5 percent versus discontinued enrollment rate of 42.8 percent).➢ Among students who started at four‐year public institutions, black students had the lowest six‐year completion rate, with 46 percent. Hispanic students had a completion rate of 55 percent.➢ White students and Asian students had the highest completion rates at four‐year public institution, at 71.7 percent and 75.8 percent, respectively.Download the report at http://bit.ly/2Bugs6k.What would you like to read about?To suggest a topic for Dean & Provost, please contact the editor, Joan Hope, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dean & Provost – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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