Completing College: A National View of Student Attainment Rates- Fall 2007 Cohort Part Two

By Betsy Prueter
The National Student Clearinghouse Research Center has released its second annual report on student attainment rates for students who first enrolled in postsecondary education in the fall of 2007. The report tracks students for six years through the spring of 2013.

Among the report’s findings:

  • Overall, 56.1% of first-time degree seeking students who enrolled in postsecondary education in fall of 2007 completed a degree or certificate within six years. Student completion rates, however, varied greatly by a student enrollment intensity.
    • Students who were enrolled exclusively full-time had a 77.7% completion rate.
    • Students who were enrolled exclusively part-time had a 21.9% completion rate.
    • Students who were enrolled on a mixed basis – periods of full and part time—had a 43.2% completion rate.
  • Students who began college at a more traditional age – age 20 or younger – had higher completion rates than older students who first enrolled in postsecondary education. By age groups, students who enrolled in postsecondary education in fall of 2007 completed a degree or certificate within six years as follows:
    • Among students ages 20 or younger, 59.7% had completed a degree within 6 years, 15.9% were still enrolled in school, and 24.3% were no longer enrolled.
    • Among students between ages 21 and 24, 40.8% had completed a degree within 6 years, 16.3% were still enrolled in school, and 42.8% were no longer enrolled.
    • Among students over age 24, 43.5% had completed a degree within 6 years, 12.5% were still enrolled in school, and 43.9% were no longer enrolled.
  • Student completion outcomes also varied based on the type of institution in which a student first enrolled.
    • Within six years of starting their postsecondary education at a 4-year private nonprofit, 70.2% had completed at a four-year institution, 2.6% had completed at a 2-year institution, 9.7% were still enrolled in school, and 17.5% were no longer enrolled in school.
    • Within six years of starting their postsecondary education at a 4-year public institution, 59.9% had completed at a four-year institution, 3.6% had completed at a 2-year institution, 15.0% were still enrolled in school, and 21.6% were no longer enrolled in school.
    • Within six years of starting their postsecondary education at a 4-year private for-profit institution, 40.1% had completed at a four-year institution, 2.3% had completed at a 2-year institution, 13.4% were still enrolled in school, and 44.3% were no longer enrolled in school.
    • Within six years of starting their postsecondary education at a 2-year public institution, 29.9% had completed at a two-year institution, 10.0% had completed at a 4-year institution, 18.9% were still enrolled in school, and 41.2% were no longer enrolled in school.
    • Within six years of starting their postsecondary education at a 2-year private for-profit institution, 60.4% had completed at a two-year institution, 3.0% had completed at a 4-year institution, 7.8% were still enrolled in school, and 29.8% were no longer enrolled in school.