How Astonishingly Low College Completion Rates Are Hurting The Economy

SkilledUp – Danielle Bullen

Every year, after a lot of struggle and anxiety to get its young people prepared for college, admitted and funded, the U.S. deposits about 20 million students at the campus gates (counting online programs and adult students). Over 2 million of those are “traditional” first-year students who just finished high school and who we expect to see in four years in another cap and gown.

But it would probably surprise taxpayers and families just how few of those students complete the journey. At public universities, the National Center on Education Statistics reports the four-year graduation rate for students who entered in 2006 is 32.8%. Give them another two years, and the six-year graduation rate nationwide is still only 57.2 percent. Private colleges and universities, as measured by the same NCES data, fare better with a 52.9 percent four-year completion rate and a 65.5 percent six-year completion rate. Read More