University Leaders Push for Better Graduation Data

September 1, 2015

More than 200 university presidents and chancellors on Monday urged the Obama administration to incorporate voluntary, institution-submitted data on student completion rates into its forthcoming consumer information tool. 

The university leaders said in a letter to Education Secretary Arne Duncan that federal graduation rates -- which currently capture only first-time, full-time students -- are far too incomplete and misrepresent how well colleges perform. More than half of bachelor’s degree recipients attend more than one institution before graduating, and therefore aren’t counted in the federal data.

The letter asks the administration to include more complete graduation rates using the Student Achievement Measure, which is run by a coalition of college groups and tracks a far greater swath of students, including transfer and part-time students. 

The Education Department is currently developing a new consumer information tool it plans to release in the coming weeks in lieu of the controversial college ratings system it had originally proposed. 

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