MACRO INSIDER: Critics say college graduation rates don’t tell the whole story

Career College Central Summary:

  • Pushing public colleges and universities to increase graduation rates has turn out to be a crucial objective for President Obama and California Gov. Jerry Brown, among others, as they seek to hold greater education institutions a lot more accountable.
  • Encouraging students to get their degrees in four years rather than five or six — and, for community college students, in two years rather than three or 4 — will not only lower tuition bills but absolutely free space for a lot more students to enroll, quite a few of these advocates say.
  • But a developing chorus of opposition argues that graduation prices by themselves may possibly not accurately measure campus overall performance and that utilizing the rates to determine allocation of federal and state funds would be in particular troublesome.
  • Critics also contend that the escalating concentrate on timely degrees overlooks the reality that in a system such as the California State University, the nation's largest, numerous students are older, have jobs and households and are challenging pressed to graduate "on time."
  • Nationally, only 19% of full-time students earn a bachelor's degree in 4 years at most public universities and only 36% at very rated flagship investigation institutions, according to a recent report by the nonprofit group Comprehensive College America. The expense to students is about $22,826 for every additional year at a public 4-year college, according to the report, named Four-Year Myth.
  • Several students are taking fewer units — generally 12 credit hours per term rather than 15 — than they want to graduate in 4 years. And several are unfocused in their college research and do not adhere to a structured program, said Stan Jones, president of the Indianapolis-based advocacy group.
  • "We would not expect everybody to graduate in four years but we would anticipate half of them to, and we're nowhere close to that," Jones mentioned. "Evidence is that the longer students remain in school the less probably they are to graduate, so we're not doing students a favor" by keeping the status quo.

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