New Graduation Data Finds Increases for 2-Year Students

January 5, 2016

The National Center for Education Statistics released a new way to track completion data for students attending two-year colleges and has found increases in graduation rates.

NCES extended the time period for when students were tracked for program completion from 100 percent of normal time to 200 percent, or four years of normal time for an associate degree. Under the extended time, graduation rates for full-time, first-time undergraduates in 2010 increased from 18 percent to 36 percent at two-year institutions. Rates also increased for students at fewer-than-two-year institutions -- from 38 percent to 67 percent.

Most college graduates take a longer time to earn a degree than what is considered the traditional amount of time. An NCES report from 2010 found that 17 percent of students earning an associate degree completed in the traditional two years while 43 percent completed in two to three years and another 40 percent finished in three to six years.

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