Wednesday, August 29, 2012

What Determines College Success?

Many high school graduates who start college do not earn a degree. Among the cohort who entered a postsecondary institution in 2003-2004, according to a new NCES study, fewer than half (49 percent) had earned a degree six years later in 2009. Of that cohort, 31 percent had a bachelor's degree, 9 percent had an associate's degree, 9 percent had a certificate, 15 percent did not yet have a degree but were still in school, and 36 percent--the largest share--were neither in school nor had any degree.

Some of the factors that contribute to the completion of a postsecondary degree...
  • Students whose parents were in the highest-income quartile were twice as likely to earn a degree as those in the lowest-income quartile.
  • Students whose parents had a bachelor's degree were 38 percent more likely to complete a degree than students whose parents went no further than high school.
  • Students who started at a for-profit school were 59 percent less likely to finish a degree than those who started at a public institution.
  • Students who met with a college advisor during their first year were 30 percent more likely to finish a degree than those who did not meet with an advisor.
  • Students who worked more than 20 hours per week were 19 percent less likely to complete a degree than those who did not work.
Source: National Center for Education Statistics, Higher Education: Gaps in Access and Persistence Study

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