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Report 1 Decoder: Enrollment in Postsecondary Education Graph

Demystifying Our Most Popular StudentTracker for High Schools’ Reports

by NSC Blog | Aug 30, 2018 | K-12, Research Services, StudentTracker for High Schools |

Report Decoder 4: Time to College Graduation Report

In the final blog of our four-part special series, we decode the National Student Clearinghouse’s StudentTracker for High Schools’ most important charts and graphs – so you can use the data to discern time until graduating from college.

Report 4: Time to College Graduation

How long does it take for your graduates to earn a college degree? This report shows how many years it took for your school’s college graduates to receive their first degrees (associate, bachelor’s, or higher), from two years or less up to six years. These outcomes are calculated at the six-year mark, so the most recent cohort for your school will be those who graduated six full years ago.

Note: “years” in this report refers to academic years since high school graduation.

Review this sample high school’s time-to-graduation results:

  • Each of the years listed along the bottom of the graph corresponds to one graduating class. In this example, we have data starting with the Class of 2007 (on the left) and ending with the Class of 2009 (on the right)
  • Remember, because this example is a 2015 report, 2009 is the first class for which we have the full six years of data
  • It doesn’t matter if the student transferred to a different school or dropped out and reenrolled later – the Clearinghouse knows where your school’s graduates go
  • The stacked bar for each year doesn’t total 100 percent because only about half of this high school’s graduates went to college and completed their degrees (college completion percentages for this high school vary from 45 to 49 percent over this time period)

How to Read the Data

  • For this school’s 2009 graduating class:
    • 1 percent graduated from college in two years or less
    • 3 percent graduated within three years of finishing high school
    • 19 percent graduated in four years of finishing high school
    • 20 percent graduated within five years of high school, and 5 percent graduated within six years
    • The total percentage of this high school’s graduates who have completed a college degree within six years is 48 percent (the total of 1, 3, 19, 20, and 5)
  • For the Class of 2007:
    • 2 percent graduated from college in two years or less
    • 6 percent graduated within three years of finishing high school
    • 21 percent graduated in four years of finishing high school
    • 15 percent graduated within five years of high school, and 5 percent graduated within six years
    • The total percentage of this high school’s graduates who have completed a college degree within six years is 49 percent (the total of 2, 6, 21, 15, and 5)

Learn more about StudentTracker for High Schools and how you can use it to get the accurate data you need to improve your college preparation initiatives.

Visit the Clearinghouse Academy to access our StudentTracker for High Schools on-demand webinars, tutorials, and more.

How long does it take for your graduates to earn a college degree? This report shows how many years it took for your school’s college graduates to receive their first degrees, from two years or less up to six years.

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