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National college completion rates have increased for a third consecutive year, according to a new report from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.

The overall national six-year completion rate increased by 1.5 percentage points for students who entered college in fall 2012 compared to those who entered in 2011, reaching 58.3 percent. It's the highest rate in the six years the research center has tracked the data.

The report also found that completion rates for transfer students from two-year to four-year institutions increased 1.1 percentage points, to 15.8 percent.

“Coming on top of last year’s gains, these across-the-board improvements are some of the most encouraging data on student success that we’ve seen in a long time,” Doug Shapiro, the center's executive director, said in a news release. “Retention and completion rates have increased because students have access to more of the programs, tools and support they need to succeed.”