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Report: Progress on College Completion Rates Stalls

November 30, 2022

A new report from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center shows that college completion rates have stagnated, with 62.3 percent of students who enrolled in 2016 completing a degree by June 2022—virtually unchanged from last year’s six-year completion rate of 62.2 percent.

The report examines all students who enter postsecondary education for the first time, whether they enroll in two-year or four-year institutions and attend full- or part-time. While six-year completion rates increased in more than half the states, only five states saw increases of one percentage point or more. That’s a significant change from last year, when two-thirds of all states gained at least one percentage point.

The report also shows that eight-year completion rates did not change between the fall 2013 and fall 2014 cohorts. Compared to other students, more Asian and Latino students completed their degrees during their seventh and eighth years.

Six-year completion rates decreased at similar rates for white, Black and Latino students and increased for Asian and Native American students, according to the report.

“Today, out of all students who started college six years ago, 37.7 percent have yet to complete any degree or credential,” said Doug Shapiro, executive director at the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. “And with only 8.9 percent still working on it, the remaining 28.8 percent amounts to too many who are short of their dreams and left out of the educated workforce of the future.”

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Safia Abdulahi

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