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Indiana College Graduation Rates Going Up, More Students Completing On-Time

July 11, 2019
By

Hoosier college graduation 2018The percentage of students graduating from Indiana public colleges is increasing, and more students are graduating on-time, according to the Indiana Commission for Higher Education’s   new College Completion Report, released Thursday.

“Most of the new jobs being created now and in the future require a credential beyond a high school diploma,” said Indiana Higher Education Commissioner Teresa Lubbers. “The data in this report serve as an important gauge for how Indiana’s colleges and universities are preparing students, and how vital the support of the Indiana General Assembly is to the state’s continued success in higher education.”

College completion is measured as the percentage of learners who successfully earn a degree or credential. The Commission’s report measures the proportion of learners who complete their degree or certificate by campus, including one-page snapshots of each public Indiana campus.

Over 40 percent of all Indiana public college students graduate on-time, or within four years for a bachelor’s degree and two years for an associate degree. On-time graduation increased by almost 13 percentage points between 2013 and 2018 and by more than two percentage points in a one-year period (2017 to 2018).

Extended-time graduation – within six years for any degree type – is also rising. Nearly two-thirds of Hoosiers (61.8 percent) complete college within the extended timeframe

College completion rates are improving across all Indiana campus types

Just under half (47.3 percent) of all students who attend a public four-year campus in Indiana graduate on-time, an improvement of over 11 percentage points in the five-year period. Campuses with the greatest improvement in on-time graduation are Indiana University East, University of Southern Indiana, Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis (IUPUI), Indiana University Kokomo and Ball State University.

Indiana University Bloomington, Purdue University West Lafayette and Ball State University campuses have the overall highest on-time and extended-time completion rates.

On-time graduation rates at two-year campuses are also improving, with over 14 percent of students at Ivy Tech Community College and Vincennes University graduating on-time, a nine percentage point gain in the five-year period. Overall, 35.3 percent of students are graduating during the extended timeline at two-year campuses across the state, a three percentage point increase over the previous year.

 

More 21st Century Scholars Completing On-Time than Low-Income Peers

Indiana requires 21st Century Scholars to complete at least 30 credit hours per year in order to stay on track for on-time graduation. Those requirements, as well as Scholars Success Program activities, have helped improve Scholars’ on-time graduation by 14 percentage points in a five-year period and an almost two percentage point gain over the previous year.

Scholars are out-performing their low-income peers in on-time completion at two- and four-year campuses, supporting the Commission’s focus on both college-going and college completion success for 21st Century Scholars.

 

Achievement gaps remain

Also included in the report is data on minority status, socioeconomic status and student age. Data show adult learners, low-income and minority students are less likely to graduate on-time than their peers across all campus types

“We cannot get to Indiana’s big goal of 60 percent of Hoosiers with a quality postsecondary credential without the adult student population persisting and graduating. Indiana’s Workforce Ready Grant is assisting these students by paying for high-value certificate programs in the state’s highest demand sectors,” said Lubbers.

Later this summer, the Commission for Higher Education will release its annual Equity Report, a supplemental report providing data on the performance of Indiana’s underserved populations.

“Closing the achievement gap by 2025 for our underserved populations – including minority and low-income learners – is one of the Commission’s top priorities to ensure every Hoosier has access to the opportunity a college degree affords,” said Lubbers

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