Archive for December, 2010

Consider Graduation Rate as a Factor in Choosing a College

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

One of CQE’s priorities in recent years has been to encourage families of those graduates who leave Metuchen High School with the clear intention of earning a bachelor’s degree to have their children begin their studies at a four-year college.  The reason is simple:  There is a far greater likelihood that a student will earn a bachelor’s degree if he/she begins at a four-year college, as opposed to at a community college.  On average, “Only 31% of community-college students [who begin as full-time students and] who set out to get a degree complete it within six years, whereas 58% of students [who begin full-time] at four-year schools graduate within that time frame (Fitzpatrick).”

The average graduation rate of our nation’s colleges and universities is surprisingly low (Griesemer), but rates vary widely among individual schools.  Among colleges in New Jersey, Princeton University has the highest six-year graduation rate (95%), followed by The College of New Jersey (85%), followed by Drew University (77%), and then Rutgers University—New Brunswick, whose rate is 75% (www.collegeresults.org).  Among two-year colleges in New Jersey, Sussex County Community College has the highest graduation rate (28%).   Our local community college, Middlesex County College, has a graduation rate of 13% (http://www.communitycollegesinusa.com/New_Jersey_School_Codes.html).   Note that these rates reflect only students who begin their studies full-time and who seek degrees, not those students attending part-time, seeking certificates or who are not matriculated.

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