Pitt’s four-year graduation rate is 64%, Penn State’s is 65%, Carnegie Mellon’s is 74%, and California University of PA’s is 31%. Why the discrepancies? One contributing factor is their freshman retention rate. CMU has the best freshman retention rate, so their four-year graduation rate is the highest.
Dropping out, transferring, and changing majors are all ways money is wasted on a college education. And not just a little bit of money.... tens of thousands of dollars. As I have written before, it’s not just the wasted money on tuition, but the time wasted that students could have used earning money in the workforce.
These are also large contributing factors to the student loan crisis.
There is no true student-loan crisis
The crisis is that too few college students graduate so they cannot afford to repay their loans
CHRIS HOWARD Robert Morris University
When they are investigating colleges, I remind families hope important it is to check graduation rates. Most college students do not graduate in four years. Here are the four-years graduation rates as complied by the federal government:
Four-Year Graduation Rates
- Public colleges and universities 33%
- Private colleges and universities 53%
CHECK 4-YEAR GRADUATION RATES
Here are sources of four-year grad rates:
• College Completion: Microsite of The Chronicle of Higher Education
• College Results Online: Creation of The Education Trust. This resource also provides freshmen retention rate percentages.
Consider: A lackluster grad rate shouldn’t be an automatic deal breaker. If a grad rate is troubling, research what it takes to graduate in four years. Being in an honors college at a state university, for instance, could make the path to a four-year degree smoother. In contrast, students pursuing engineering, nursing or some other majors might find it difficult to graduate in the traditional four years at some institutions.
CHECK FRESHMEN RETENTION RATES
You will also need to check any school’s freshmen retention rate, which provides the percentage
of students who stick around for their sophomore year.
In addition to being a traumatic experience, unhappy students who leave a school can make
a college degree, again, far more costly. Transfer statistics from the National Student Clearinghouse
Research Center indicate that an alarming percentage of students ultimately transfer out of
their original schools.
Among four-year institutions, 36.5% of students who start at a public college or university
end up transferring elsewhere and 34.3% of students at private nonprofit schools transfer too.
Each family, and each student, is different but if receiving the best value for your educational dollars is important these two factors, (even though this is a brief post), should be a consideration.
College is a buyer’s market!
Most schools don’t meet their freshmen admission goals!
Click Here: What is your biggest concern about the college application process?
Join me, Chris Hitchens, IECA Counselor on.....
- Thursday March 7 at Jefferson Hills Library:For High School Athletes, Play Sports in College: How to Get Yourself Recruited
- Thursday March 14 at Whitehall Library; College Admissions 101: What Every Family Needs to Know about Financial Aid and Scholarships
- Wednesday March 20 at South Park Library: Athletes and Artists: How They Both Can Follow the Same Path to Find Their Dream College
- Tuesday March 26 at Bethel Park Library: Musicians, Thespians, Dancers, Cheerleaders, Majorettes, & all other Artists: Find Your Dream College
- Thursday April 11 at South Park Library:College Admissions 101: What Every Family Needs to Know about Financial Aid and Scholarships
- Thursday May 2 at Baldwin Library; Musicians, Thespians, Dancers, Cheerleaders, Majorettes, & all other Artists: Find Your Dream College
- Tuesday May 14 at Baldwin Library: For High School Athletes, Play Sports in College: How to Get Yourself Recruited
- Saturday May 18 at Baldwin Library:College Essay Workshop for Juniors
- Thursday May 23 at Baldwin Library: 12 Strategies Necessary to Get Into Tier 1 Colleges, Including the Ivy League