Schools Ranked by Graduation Rate Page 3

Low acceptance rates may serve as a mark of prestige among elite colleges, but high graduation rates demonstrate a school's commitment to students, reflecting a high level of institutional support and overall effectiveness. High college graduation rates can also show applicants how many students move through a school or program at an average rate, completing their studies in a typical timeframe.

Colleges often publish their graduation and retention rates. While the graduation rate indicates the percentage of students who complete a degree, retention rate indicates the percent of freshman students who continue on to sophomore year. A high retention rate typically translates to a high graduation rate, indicating that a school supports students throughout the course of their education.

Most traditional graduation figures indicate how many students complete a four-year program within six years of enrolling. However, colleges increasingly serve students from varied backgrounds who may need even longer to complete a degree due to work or family obligations. A recent study from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center reports that 54.8% of students at two- and four-year colleges complete a degree within six years, while 60.4% of students complete a degree within eight years.

 

Schools by Graduation Rate

We use figures from the U.S. Department of Education's College Navigator database for this page. College Navigator defines graduation rate as the percentage of full-time, first-time undergraduate students. We use the latest figures available, which include students who graduated within 150% of the normal time to program completion. For example, for a four-year program, the graduation rate includes students who graduate within six years of beginning the program.

College Navigator does not post graduation rate figures for all of the colleges on our list. We do not, however, want to penalize those colleges without data. To that end, we simply excluded those schools from the rankings in this category.

Why Does Graduation Rate Matter?

While not the definitive gauge of an institution's quality, college graduation rates contribute to a school's reputation. The most selective colleges generally boast the highest graduation rates. A school's graduation rate often reflects its academic effectiveness and the strength of its faculty, giving students a sense of what to expect once they enroll.

While our own list features a wide selection of colleges with top graduation rates, students should consider more than just these figures when selecting a school. However, it is always wise to determine a school's graduation rate as part of the overall picture.

Graduation rate can speak to a program's effectiveness

A high college graduation rate refers to a program's overall effectiveness, demonstrating that most students complete their education successfully. A school or program with a high graduation rate most likely offers a high level of student support, enabling learners to progress through their education without issues or interruptions. Other factors may also influence graduation rate, such as students transferring to a different college or even a different program at the same college.

Graduation rate can showcase strong faculty

A high graduation rate can also demonstrate a school or program's academic strengths and its depth of resources. Schools with high graduation rates typically employ strong faculty members who provide attention and support for students. These schools typically offer many student resources, including advising, counseling, and career support. A strong selection of support services can increase retention, helping students stay on track and graduate on time.

Graduation rate can provide students with insight about a school's timeline

A graduation rate can also give students an idea of what to expect in terms of a program's total completion time. Many schools' graduation figures indicate not just successful completion rates but also how long students take to complete a degree. Researching graduation rates can help students understand the general timeline for a program and whether most candidates graduate on time. Learners should also investigate what percentage of students enroll full time vs. part time.

What Can a High Graduation Rate Mean?

While a high graduation rate often indicates academic quality and a strong student support system, these numbers do not necessarily tell the whole story about a college. More selective institutions typically report higher graduation rates. However, these schools are more likely to admit students from wealthier backgrounds, who generally graduate at a higher rate than other students.

Graduation rates commonly indicate the number of full-time undergraduate students who complete their degree within 150% of the published program time. However, these figures may not always reflect students enrolled part time or those who take more than six years to complete their degree.

While graduation rates may not provide a full picture of a school and its strengths, they serve as one measure of evaluating an institution's effectiveness. While these figures may cater primarily to traditional four-year students, part-time students and returning learners should also examine graduation rates.

Graduation Rate FAQs

Question Answer
What is a good graduation rate for college? Top colleges often maintain graduation rates above 90%. For example, Harvard holds a graduation rate of 98%, while Yale holds a graduation rate of 97%.
Does graduation rates matter? While students should not judge a school solely on its graduation rates, these rates often correspond to an institution's selectivity and the strength of its academic programs.
Are college graduation rates declining? As of 2019, college graduation rates are increasing slightly. However, only 58.3% of students complete a bachelor's degree within six years.
What is a bad graduation rate in college? Less-selective schools often maintain graduation rates below 50%. Schools that offer open enrollment (no set admission requirements) typically have the lowest graduation rates.
Rank School Student to
Faculty Ratio
Graduation
Rate
Retention
Rate
Acceptance
Rate
Enrollment
Rate
Institutional
Aid Rate
Default
Rate
201

Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising-Los Angeles

20 to 1 70% 92% 49% 33% 39% 10% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
202

University of Central Florida

30 to 1 70% 89% 49% 18% 69% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
203

Wartburg College

11 to 1 70% 80% 74% 17% 94% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
204

Towson University

17 to 1 70% 86% 73% 25% 47% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
205

McDaniel College

11 to 1 70% 75% 80% 15% 98% 4% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
206

The College of Saint Scholastica

15 to 1 70% 84% 61% 12% 82% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
207

Canisius College

11 to 1 70% 83% 87% 14% 92% 6% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
208

CUNY Bernard M Baruch College

17 to 1 70% 91% 32% 7% 56% 5% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
209

George Fox University

14 to 1 70% 81% 77% 21% 90% 3% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
210

DeSales University

13 to 1 70% 78% 78% 16% 79% 4% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
211

Immaculata University

9 to 1 70% 83% 79% 12% 59% 6% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
212

Marywood University

12 to 1 70% 83% 71% 16% 97% 6% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
213

Presbyterian College

11 to 1 70% 81% 62% 13% 89% 4% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
214

The University of Tennessee-Knoxville

17 to 1 70% 85% 76% 28% 75% 7% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
215

University of Mary Washington

14 to 1 70% 82% 83% 18% 41% 2% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
216

The Master's College and Seminary

10 to 1 69% 85% 95% 41% 82% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
217

Catholic University of America

7 to 1 69% 86% 79% 15% 83% 2% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
218

Moody Bible Institute

17 to 1 69% 86% 68% 48% 80% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
219

Dordt College

15 to 1 69% 81% 70% 27% 100% 2% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
220

Goucher College

11 to 1 69% 82% 77% 11% 90% 3% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
221

Mount St Mary's University

12 to 1 69% 75% 67% 8% 95% 4% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
222

Gordon College

13 to 1 69% 85% 93% 24% 98% 2% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
223

University of Missouri-Columbia

20 to 1 69% 87% 78% 28% 60% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
224

Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

9 to 1 69% 88% 66% 13% 86% 1% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
225

SUNY College at Brockport

16 to 1 69% 82% 53% 12% 61% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
226

The Christ College of Nursing and Health Sciences

10 to 1 69% 83% 54% 29% 68% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
227

Ohio Northern University

11 to 1 69% 86% 69% 19% 75% 3% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
228

Moravian College

12 to 1 69% 80% 75% 19% 91% 4% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
229

Saint Vincent College

12 to 1 69% 87% 70% 23% 96% 4% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
230

Belmont University

14 to 1 69% 83% 80% 23% 65% 3% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
231

George Mason University

16 to 1 69% 87% 69% 14% 41% 2% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
232

Azusa Pacific University

11 to 1 68% 88% 81% 20% 92% 4% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
233

San Diego State University

28 to 1 68% 89% 34% 9% 59% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
234

Keiser University-Ft Lauderdale

12 to 1 68% 89% N/A N/A 93% 18% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
235

University of South Florida-Main Campus

24 to 1 68% 88% 45% 14% 72% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
236

Agnes Scott College

9 to 1 68% 87% 62% 19% 95% 7% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
237

University of Evansville

12 to 1 68% 81% 70% 12% 91% 5% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
238

Cornell College

11 to 1 68% 82% 70% 14% 98% 4% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
239

University of Northern Iowa

17 to 1 68% 80% 80% 36% 55% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
240

Le Moyne College

13 to 1 68% 88% 62% 9% 90% 6% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
241

Rochester Institute of Technology

13 to 1 68% 89% 57% 16% 82% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
242

Saint Joseph's College-New York

11 to 1 68% 86% 68% 16% 82% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
243

SUNY at Albany

18 to 1 68% 82% 56% 12% 60% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
244

Stony Brook University

17 to 1 68% 90% 41% 8% 57% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
245

Cleveland Institute of Art

9 to 1 68% 83% 65% 23% 97% 5% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
246

Drexel University

10 to 1 68% 84% 75% 9% 80% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
247

Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania

22 to 1 68% 83% 68% 26% 58% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
248

Pacific Lutheran University

11 to 1 68% 83% 76% 18% 96% 3% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
249

University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

18 to 1 68% 85% 80% 34% 43% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
250

Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences

11 to 1 68% 100% 53% 37% 42% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
251

The University of Alabama

24 to 1 67% 86% 54% 20% 57% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
252

California State University-Long Beach

24 to 1 67% 89% 34% 8% 72% 5% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
253

Colorado State University-Fort Collins

18 to 1 67% 87% 81% 26% 50% 4% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
254

Savannah College of Art and Design

20 to 1 67% 85% 70% 21% 88% 9% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
255

Elmhurst College

14 to 1 67% 79% 55% 13% 95% 2% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
256

Valparaiso University

13 to 1 67% 82% 82% 11% 91% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
257

Central College

12 to 1 67% 78% 64% 10% 94% 4% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
258

Northwestern College

13 to 1 67% 82% 72% 21% 94% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
259

Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College

23 to 1 67% 85% 77% 32% 72% 5% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
260

Salisbury University

16 to 1 67% 82% 61% 14% 56% 5% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
261

Wentworth Institute of Technology

15 to 1 67% 84% 67% 14% 86% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
262

Grand Valley State University

17 to 1 67% 84% 81% 24% 65% 4% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
263

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

21 to 1 67% 83% 76% 48% 52% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
264

Rowan University

18 to 1 67% 86% 71% 18% 43% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
265

Monmouth University

14 to 1 67% 83% 74% 14% 96% 6% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
266

Adelphi University

11 to 1 67% 84% 72% 9% 88% 5% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
267

Baldwin Wallace University

13 to 1 67% 83% 60% 18% 84% 3% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
268

Ohio University-Main Campus

18 to 1 67% 79% 74% 21% 53% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
269

Citadel Military College of South Carolina

13 to 1 67% 86% 77% 25% 62% 5% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
270

California Lutheran University

15 to 1 66% 84% 62% 9% 87% 3% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
271

Laguna College of Art and Design

12 to 1 66% 84% 37% 21% 100% 6% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
272

Whittier College

12 to 1 66% 80% 63% 9% 94% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
273

Lewis University

13 to 1 66% 84% 62% 12% 81% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
274

Goshen College

10 to 1 66% 78% 66% 22% 90% 4% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
275

Huntington University

10 to 1 66% 79% 84% 22% 85% 4% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
276

Faith Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary

11 to 1 66% 80% 64% 50% 90% 3% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
277

Loyola University New Orleans

12 to 1 66% 77% 90% 19% 92% 5% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
278

University of Northwestern-St Paul

18 to 1 66% 82% 87% 33% 59% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
279

Montclair State University

17 to 1 66% 83% 70% 26% 51% 5% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
280

SUNY College at Oswego

17 to 1 66% 80% 51% 14% 76% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
281

University of Oklahoma-Norman Campus

18 to 1 66% 86% 78% 35% 62% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
282

The University of Texas at Dallas

23 to 1 66% 84% 61% 24% 65% 7% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
283

Longwood University

16 to 1 66% 80% 79% 22% 48% 5% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
284

University of California-Merced

18 to 1 66% 84% 61% 9% 88% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
285

University of St Francis

11 to 1 65% 76% 51% 13% 86% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
286

Mount Mercy University

14 to 1 65% 78% 61% 21% 86% 4% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
287

University of New England

13 to 1 65% 75% 85% 14% 80% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
288

Michigan Technological University

12 to 1 65% 87% 75% 24% 86% 5% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
289

University of Minnesota-Morris

12 to 1 65% 77% 60% 11% 74% 6% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
290

Missouri University of Science and Technology

19 to 1 65% 87% 88% 41% 77% 5% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
291

The New School

10 to 1 65% 81% 67% 19% 83% 6% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
292

SUNY College at Plattsburgh

16 to 1 65% 83% 50% 12% 72% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
293

Gannon University

12 to 1 65% 84% 76% 15% 79% 6% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
294

Philadelphia University

13 to 1 65% 82% 64% 13% 88% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
295

University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

21 to 1 65% 80% 85% 39% 46% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
296

Harding University

16 to 1 64% 85% 99% 66% 87% 5% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
297

California State University-Chico

25 to 1 64% 84% 63% 12% 63% 7% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
298

University of La Verne

17 to 1 64% 85% 47% 9% 73% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
299

Sacred Heart University

15 to 1 64% 83% 59% 14% 85% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
300

Stetson University

13 to 1 64% 77% 63% 9% 98% 5% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A

Methodology

For each college, we gathered data for nine different metrics: the number of full-time faculty per part-time faculty member; institutional financial aid, acceptance, retention, graduation, job placement, and default rates; years accredited; and undergraduate tuition. Learn more