Did it take you longer than four years to graduate from a Georgia public college or university? If so, you’re in good company.
Only 1 in 4 — 24 percent – of entering freshmen in Georgia’s public four-year colleges get a degree within four years, according to a new database compiled by the Chronicle of Higher Education that looks at nearly every U.S. college.
Okay, time for bragging rights, but not much bragging. The University of Georgia has by far the best completion rate in four years — 51.3 percent, compared to just 35.1 percent for Milledgeville’s Georgia College and State University, No. 2 on the list. Georgia Tech is third-highest at 32.9 percent.
Six years seems to be the ticket: Statewide, about 52 percent of students manage to complete a four-year degree within six years. Nearly 80 percent of students at both UGA and Georgia Tech are able to graduate in six years. It’s about 60 percent for Georgia College, according to the Chronicle’s database.
It’s just as bad at two-year colleges, according to the database: Among Georgia students enrolled in two-year colleges, only about one in four, or 25 percent, are completing their coursework, period, according to the data — still that’s better than the U.S. average of about 20 percent.
The new information comes just as a statewide initiative called Complete College Georgia is pushing state administrators to improve graduation rates by 2020.
The Chronicle database also shows that colleges with the highest graduation rates are often those with the fewest number of low-income students receiving Pell grants.
Only about 18 percent of UGA students and 16 percent of Georgia Tech students were Pell grant recipients, according to the database.
Many schools admit far more low-income students: about 40 percent of Georgia State University’s students received Pell grants, and 32 percent of Georgia Southern University students. At Albany State University, which had a four-year graduation rate of just 16.3 percent, nearly 72 percent received Pell grants, according to the Chronicle.
Here is the Chronicle’s list of graduation rates for 25 Georgia public colleges and universities.
What stumbling blocks do you see or did you experience while trying to graduate college in four years. Are there good, legitimate reasons for taking more than four years?