New National Tally of College Completion Tries to Count All Students

New National Tally of College Completion Tries to Count All Students | Katherine Mangan | Chronicle of Higher Education | 23 November, 2012

For years, higher-education leaders have argued that dismal college-completion rates fail to capture the single mother who could squeeze in only a few classes per semester or the serviceman who started at one college and finished years later at another. On Thursday, the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center released a report that takes account of the circuitous but ultimately successful routes that students often take toward a college degree.

The report, “Completing College: A National View of Student Attainment Rates,” concludes that when such nontraditional but increasingly common patterns of enrollment are considered, the national completion rate jumps to 54 percent, from 42 percent. Among full-time students, 75 percent earn a degree or certificate within six years.

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