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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.