Although it's not the only thing you should think about during a college search, the graduation rates of your prospective schools do matter. To provide students with more information on the completion rates of schools across the country, The Chronicle of Higher Education recently launched a new website.
The Chronicle compiled data from students beginning their studies in 2004. Information on how many students graduated on time is available for more than 3,800 public universities, community colleges, and private and for-profit schools. Colleges with notable graduation rates, such as Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, are profiled, as are schools with lower completion rates.
Many states are taking improvement of college graduation rates seriously. According to KENS 5 News, some experts say that how selective colleges are can make graduation data appear skewed.
"If we stick to graduation rates, public universities are always going to look less successful than private and elite institutions, because the surest way to assure high graduation rates is to increase selectivity," Diana Natalicio, president of the University of Texas-El Paso, told the news source.
If you're filling out college applications, make sure to consider all aspects of a prospective school, not just the graduation rate. Although it's certainly important, there are other factors you should think about, including tuition fees and financial aid opportunities.