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Latest State-Level Completion Rates Includes Race and Ethnicity For First Time Students at 4-Year Public Institutions

by NSC Blog | Mar 6, 2019 | Research Reports, Research Services, Signature Reports |

New Results Show State-by-State, Six-Year Completion Patterns Among Black, Hispanic, White and Asian Students

National results show that completion patterns among Black, Hispanic, white, and Asian four-year public starters vary widely across states, according to a new nationwide report released today by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. 

The Research Center’s Completing College: A State-Level View of Student Completion Rates, which includes for the first-time, state-level completion results by race and ethnicity for four-year public institutions, provides a state-by-state look at the six-year outcomes for students who began postsecondary education in fall 2012.

“These results provide important benchmarks as each state faces different challenges in addressing performance gaps among disadvantaged students,” said Doug Shapiro, Executive Director of the Research Center.

The overall national six-year completion rate reached 58.3 percent for the fall 2012 cohort, according to the Research Center’s report, Completing College: A National View of Student Completion Rates – Fall 2012 Cohort. This comprehensive completion rate, unlike most federal and state numbers, includes all students: full-time and part-time, of all ages, at two-year, four-year, public and private institutions, and those who graduated after transferring to a new college or university.

These results provide important benchmarks as each state faces different challenges in addressing performance gaps among disadvantaged students.

Doug Shapiro
Executive Director of the Research Center

National results by race and ethnicity show a gap of 25 percentage points between the overall completion rates of Black and white students who started in four-year public institutions. In 20 states, the achievement gap was narrower than the national average. In two states (Massachusetts and Oregon), that gap was below 15 percentage points.

The national completion gap for Hispanic and white students who started at four-year public institutions was 15 percentage points. In 15 states, this gap was less than 10 percentage points and in four states (Kentucky, Louisiana, South Carolina, and West Virginia), the gap was below 5 percentage points.

The overall national, four-year completion rate for Black students was 48 percent. In 17 states, the completion rate for Black students was above the national average and in six states (Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Virginia) it was higher than 60 percent.

The national average completion rate for Hispanic students who started in four-year public institutions was 57 percent. In 22 states, Hispanic students had a higher completion rate than the national average and in five states (Mississippi, New Hampshire, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia), the completion rate was greater than 70 percent.

Nationally, Asian and white students at four-year public institutions had completion rates at 77 and 72 percent, respectively. The completion rate surpassed 80 percent for Asian and white students in six states (California, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina, Vermont, and Virginia).

For details, download the full result tables and read Completing College: A State-Level View of Student Completion Rates.

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