Yearly Success and Progress Rates

May 4, 2020

The national six-year college completion rate continues to grow. But there is a disadvantage in students who first enroll on a part-time basis, with elevated stop-out rates from the very first year.

This report shows that more than half of them (51%) stopped out by the end of year six, nearly two times larger than full-time starters (26%). The stop-out rate has gone up for part-time starters over the past years, while data shows it is down for full-time counterparts.

The Yearly Success and Progress Rates report goes beyond traditional student outcome measures by showing year-by-year rates of retention, persistence, transfer, completion, and stop-out. The report is designed to help institutions and states better identify and inform effective intervention points to increase student success.

In this report, we examine yearly academic progress for approximately 2.3 million individuals who began college for the first time in fall 2013 with the intent to earn a credential. We show the highest level of academic progress made, broken out by the type of starting institution and enrollment intensity at entry (full-time vs. part-time).

In addition to the national-level outcomes, a 50-state data dashboard is available. The outcome categories are modeled after those used in the Student Achievement Measure (SAM) and can be used as national and state-level benchmarks for institutions participating in SAM.

National Highlights

  • Among students enrolling full time in fall 2013, 45.4 percent had completed a postsecondary credential by the end of year four, while 22.4 percent were no longer enrolled. By the end of year six, 65.6 percent had graduated, while 26.1 percent had left college without earning a credential (see Figure 1).
  • For students entering part-time, 21.3 percent had completed a credential by the end of year four, while 45.3 percent were no longer enrolled. By the end of year six, 34.2 percent had graduated, while 51.2 percent had left college without earning a credential (see Figure 2).
  • The gaps in stop-out performance start early in one’s academic career. By year two, 24.4 percent of part-time starters stopped out, compared to 13.1 percent for full-time counterparts. The gap increased further by year three, with an additional 14.2 percent of part-time entrants stopping out, as opposed to only an additional 5.9 percent for full-time starters.

Past Reports

2019
   Report (pdf)
   State Dashboard (xlsx)

2018
   Report (pdf)
   State Dashboard (xlsx)

2017
   Report (pdf)
   State Dashboard (xlsx)

2016
   Report (pdf)
   No State Dashboard

An Example of the State Data Dashboard (xlsx)

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