National Student Clearinghouse Releases Eight-Year College Completion Data

February 15, 2019

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Title: Completing College: Eight Year Completion Outcomes—Fall 2010 Cohort

Source: National Student Clearinghouse Research Center

New data from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center (NSCRC) reveal that 60.4 percent of students who first enrolled in two- and four-year colleges in fall 2010 graduated within eight years. That graduation rate is 5.6 percentage points higher than the cohort’s six-year graduation rate of 54.8 percent.

Among those in the 2010 cohort who graduated between 2016 and 2018, 36 percent completed at their starting institution, while 64 percent completed at a different institution.

Other notable findings include:

  • The gain in completion rates between years six and eight was similar across all starting institution types, but the share of new graduates who had transferred to a different institution was highest among completers who began at community colleges (68 percent).
  • Students enrolled exclusively part time recorded the smallest completion gains (2.3 percentage points) between years six and eight, while students with a mixed pattern of enrollment posted the greatest gains (8 percentage points).
  • The graduation rate of women remained higher than that of men after eight years (63.9 percent vs. 58.2 percent) as about 6 percent of each group graduated between years six and eight.
  • Hispanic students at public four-year institutions and Asian students at community colleges exhibited particularly large gains—of 8.3 and 11 percentage points, respectively—between six and eight years after starting college.

The NSCRC published the new figures in a supplement to its December 2016 Signature Report on College Completions. As a rising share of college students graduate more than six years after starting college, the NSCRC plans to continue publishing expanded examinations of eight-year completion outcomes.

—Sam Imlay

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