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New Data Gives Better View of University Graduation Rates

Monday, September 01, 2014

 

graduation

Students graduating at Eastern Washington University. From EWU Flickr account.

New research into transfers is providing a better picture of just how many students earn a bachelors degree after they begin college or university.

Looking at the graduate rates at the University of Oregon might be disheartening to some: Only 66 percent of the students that began school in 2007 graduated after six years, according to university data.

At 40 percent, the six-year graduation rate at Portland State University is even lower.

But those statistics don’t show the full pictures because they don’t take into account students that finish their degree at another school.

At PSU that’s a particularly important factor.

“We’re not a traditional university,” says Scott Gallagher, Portland State University director of communications. “Sixty percent of our students are transfer students.”

So stats for schools such as PSU that serve a lot of part-time and continuing education students can be misleading. Gallagher says even though the school guarantees you can graduate in four years, a lot of students have full-time jobs and require more than six years to complete school.

New data compiled by Student Achievement Measure (SAM), a nonprofit organization, are giving a more detailed picture of student success, or lack of it, at universities by tracking transfers and other mitigating factors.

With the help of participating schools, the organization has compiled data on over 250 public universities and 16 private schools across the nation. Their findings were recently laid out in the Washington Post.

In some cases the change in graduation rates can be profound.

When transfer students are factored in, 76 percent of students who started at the U of O in 2007 wound up graduating in Eugene or at another school after six years.

At PSU the graduation rate bumps up to 51 percent when you factor in kids who finish at other schools. Another 24 percent of students are still chipping away at their sheepskin either at PSU or another school, according to SAM data.

That’s OK. Sometimes slow and steady wins the race.

See below for transfer adjusted graduation rates at schools in the region.

 

Related Slideshow: Graduation rates at Northwest Universities

School stats on graduation rates don't normally include students who transfer out to finish their degrees.  When factored, in the results can be profound.

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University of Oregon

First-time, full-time students in 2007: 3,335
Percent that graduate from this school in six years: 66.0
Total percent that graduates including transfer students: 76.0 

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Portland State University

First-time, full-time students in 2007: 1,326
Percent that graduate from this school in six years: 40.0
Total percent that graduates including transfer students: 51.0

Photo Credit: Parker Knight via Compfight cc;

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Southern Oregon U.

First-time, full-time students in 2007: 697
Percent that graduate from this school in six years: 32.0
Total percent that graduates including transfer students: 48.1

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Oregon State University

First-time, full-time students in 2007: 2,974
Percent that graduate from this school in six years: 59.2
Total percent that graduates including transfer students: 70.2

Photo Credit: Parker Knight via Compfight cc;

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Eastern Washington U.

First-time, full-time students in 2007: 1,279
Percent that graduate from this school in six years: 45.0
Total percent that graduates including transfer students: 55.0

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Western Washington U.

First-time, full-time students in 2007: 2,572
Percent that graduate from this school in six years: 69.0
Total percent that graduates including transfer students: 80.0

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Idaho State University

First-time, full-time students in 2007: 775
Percent that graduate from this school in six years: 31.0
Total percent that graduates including transfer students: 44.0

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Boise State University

First-time, full-time students in 2007: 1,931
Percent that graduate from this school in six years: 40.0
Total percent that graduates including transfer students: 49.0

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University of Idaho

First-time, full-time students in 2007: 1,619
Percent that graduate from this school in six years: 53.9
Total percent that graduates including transfer students: 63.8

 
 

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