posted June 5, 2009

Hope's Graduation Rate Among the Best in Michigan

The rate of graduation at Hope College ranks among the best in Michigan, according to the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research in a new report, "Diplomas and Dropouts: Which Colleges Actually Graduate Their Students (and Which Don't)."

The study of nearly 1,400 colleges and universities was in response to a challenge from President Obama that America have the highest proportion of colleges in the world.

The Institute conducted its study using the classifications of the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education and admissions selectivity scheme from "Barron's Profiles of American Colleges."

Hope College is classified as a baccalaureate (undergraduate) institution and considered to be very competitive in its admissions selectivity. The graduation rate is determined by the number of first-time students who graduate within six years of enrollment. The study is based on 2001 enrollrees and 2007 graduates.

Hope College and Kalamazoo College shared the top spot among baccalaureate colleges in Michigan with a graduation rate of 78 percent.

The highest graduation rate among all colleges and universities in Michigan was the University of Michigan at 88 percent.  The average graduation rate for all colleges and universities in Michigan was 52 percent, and the average of the institutions included in the survey was 55 percent.

"Such differences suggest that while student motivation, finances and ability matter greatly when it comes to college completion, the practice of higher education institutions matter, too," said Frederick M. Hess, lead author of "Diplomas and Dropouts."

The Institute noted that parents, students and guidance counselors too often lack information on graduation rates when selecting schools or deciding where to spend thousands of dollars in savings -- or take on thousands of dollars in debt.

"At a time when growing unemployment disproportionately affects workers with a degree, it is critical that this information is available and accessible so that consumers can make informed decisions," said Kevin Carey, a co-author.

The survey was funded in part from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

"This report helps identify the problem that our college completion rates are too low," said Hilary Pennington, director of education, post-secondary success, and special initiatives at the Gates Foundation. "For too long we've been focused only on access to college. Now we need to turn college-goers into college graduates because a postsecondary credential is the best path to success for young adults."

Click Here for a PDF of the Complete Report