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Broader College Completion Data From the Feds

December 5, 2018

The federal government on Tuesday released an early look at student completion data that it collected as part of a winter 2016-17 survey of federal aid-eligible colleges. For the second year, the annual release from the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics includes a more comprehensive view of student success than the typical limitation of federal data to first-time, full-time students. For example, the survey incorporated results for part-time and transfer students, students who enrolled at times other than the fall, and outcomes for Pell Grant recipients.

Findings from the preliminary report include:

  • 41 percent of credential-seeking, first-time, fulltime undergraduates who enrolled in 2011 and received a Pell Grant earned a credential.
  • 61 percent of the same group, but who did not receive a Pell Grant or federally subsidized loan, earned a credential.
  • 61 percent of first-time, fulltime undergraduates who attended four-year public institutions earned a degree within eight years, compared to 67 percent who attended four-year private institutions.
  • 31 percent of first-time, fulltime credential seekers who attended a community college earned a credential within four years.

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Paul Fain

Paul Fain, Contributing Editor, came to Inside Higher Ed in September 2011, after a six-year stint covering leadership and finance for The Chronicle of Higher Education. Paul has also worked in higher ed P.R., with Widmeyer Communications, but couldn't stay away from reporting. A former staff writer for C-VILLE Weekly, a newspaper in Charlottesville, Va., Paul has written for The New York Times, Washington City Paper and Mother Jones. He's won a few journalism awards, including one for beat reporting from the Education Writers Association and the Dick Schaap Excellence in Sports Journalism Award. Paul got hooked on journalism while working too many hours at The Review, the student newspaper at the University of Delaware, where he earned a degree in political science in 1996. A native of Dayton, Ohio, and a long-suffering fan of the Cincinnati Bengals, Fain plays guitar in a band with more possible names than polished songs.

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