Schools Ranked by Graduation Rate Page 4

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
301

Berry College

12 to 1 64% 83% 55% 13% 99% 4% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
302

Bethel College-Indiana

12 to 1 64% 78% 66% 14% 84% 9% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
303

Alexandria Technical & Community College

24 to 1 64% 71% N/A N/A 53% 12% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
304

Caldwell University

12 to 1 64% 82% 64% 9% 74% 9% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
305

Rider University

12 to 1 64% 80% 69% 9% 87% 7% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
306

St Bonaventure University

11 to 1 64% 86% 66% 13% 99% 7% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
307

Oregon State University

18 to 1 64% 85% 78% 26% 54% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
308

Geneva College

15 to 1 64% 83% 73% 20% 75% 6% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
309

Roger Williams University

14 to 1 64% 81% 78% 11% 84% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
310

Union University

10 to 1 64% 84% 69% 19% 74% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
311

University of Utah

16 to 1 64% 89% 81% 28% 51% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
312

Washington State University

15 to 1 64% 78% 80% 24% 61% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
313

Milwaukee School of Engineering

16 to 1 64% 87% 65% 22% 89% 5% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
314

California State Polytechnic University-Pomona

27 to 1 63% 89% 39% 8% 67% 5% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
315

Oakland City University

12 to 1 63% 71% 55% 10% 24% 10% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
316

Asbury University

11 to 1 63% 81% 57% 19% 77% 6% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
317

University of Kentucky

17 to 1 63% 83% 89% 28% 78% 6% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
318

University of Maryland-Baltimore County

19 to 1 63% 86% 59% 15% 51% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
319

Westfield State University

17 to 1 63% 79% 80% 25% 56% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
320

University of Detroit Mercy

10 to 1 63% 85% 73% 12% 90% 6% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
321

Hamline University

13 to 1 63% 79% 72% 13% 94% 4% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
322

Seton Hall University

13 to 1 63% 84% 76% 10% 86% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
323

Niagara University

13 to 1 63% 88% 85% 22% 85% 8% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
324

Linfield College-McMinnville Campus

11 to 1 63% 86% 84% 20% 96% 3% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
325

La Salle University

12 to 1 63% 78% 75% 13% 85% 4% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
326

Milligan College

9 to 1 63% 78% 65% 31% 87% 5% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
327

University of Arkansas

19 to 1 62% 82% 60% 24% 58% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
328

John Brown University

15 to 1 62% 81% 74% 31% 74% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
329

California State University-Fullerton

25 to 1 62% 88% 42% 11% 65% 6% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
330

Kansas State University

19 to 1 62% 83% 95% 39% 57% 6% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
331

Webster University

13 to 1 62% 78% 56% 21% 79% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
332

William Jewell College

10 to 1 62% 82% 49% 17% 94% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
333

Roberts Wesleyan College

13 to 1 62% 78% 66% 18% 79% 6% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
334

East Carolina University

18 to 1 62% 80% 69% 25% 50% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
335

University of Cincinnati-Main Campus

18 to 1 62% 88% 86% 29% 58% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
336

Bob Jones University

12 to 1 62% 80% 82% 55% 71% 2% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
337

Columbia International University

14 to 1 62% 73% 34% 17% 91% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
338

Westminster College

9 to 1 62% 82% 96% 23% 89% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
339

Virginia Commonwealth University

17 to 1 62% 86% 79% 27% 55% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
340

Wisconsin Lutheran College

12 to 1 62% 75% 92% 38% 89% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
341

Columbia College

10 to 1 62% 81% N/A N/A 63% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
342

University of Arizona

22 to 1 61% 80% 76% 23% 69% 7% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
343

Concordia University-Irvine

15 to 1 61% 72% 59% 11% 81% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
344

Howard University

11 to 1 61% 89% 49% 11% 78% 10% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
345

Mercer University

13 to 1 61% 87% 67% 18% 85% 5% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
346

Brigham Young University-Idaho

25 to 1 61% 68% 100% 47% 60% 3% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
347

Lincoln Christian University

13 to 1 61% 67% 60% 36% 84% 8% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
348

Olivet Nazarene University

14 to 1 61% 77% 77% 18% 89% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
349

Madonna University

10 to 1 61% 82% 60% 19% 62% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
350

Saint Mary's University of Minnesota

18 to 1 61% 80% 78% 19% 69% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
351

University of Mississippi

18 to 1 61% 87% 79% 22% 68% 8% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
352

Otterbein University

10 to 1 61% 81% 75% 20% 81% 6% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
353

Oklahoma State University-Main Campus

20 to 1 61% 81% 75% 33% 76% 7% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
354

Eastern University

10 to 1 61% 74% 52% 13% 88% 8% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
355

Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science Inc

12 to 1 61% 85% 63% 63% 23% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
356

Abilene Christian University

15 to 1 61% 79% 50% 10% 94% 9% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
357

Eastern Mennonite University

10 to 1 61% 73% 62% 15% 95% 3% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
358

California Baptist University

18 to 1 60% 76% 65% 26% 85% 8% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
359

Holy Apostles College and Seminary

6 to 1 60% 100% N/A N/A 22% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
360

Georgia College and State University

17 to 1 60% 86% 76% 37% 79% 5% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
361

University of Illinois at Chicago

18 to 1 60% 81% 77% 22% 65% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
362

Ball State University

14 to 1 60% 82% 61% 16% 65% 7% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
363

Grace College and Theological Seminary

23 to 1 60% 80% 77% 9% 71% 4% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
364

Indiana Wesleyan University-Marion

15 to 1 60% 82% 95% 45% 57% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
365

Baker University

12 to 1 60% 77% 82% 21% 73% 6% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
366

Grace Bible College

13 to 1 60% 56% 81% 44% 83% 3% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
367

Minneapolis College of Art and Design

11 to 1 60% 82% 66% 26% 94% 9% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
368

Mississippi State University

19 to 1 60% 82% 65% 28% 78% 8% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
369

The Sage Colleges

12 to 1 60% 78% 54% 11% 90% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
370

Salem College

11 to 1 60% 83% 62% 21% 95% 7% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
371

University of Mary

13 to 1 60% 75% 96% 46% 86% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
372

Walsh University

13 to 1 60% 78% 80% 30% 85% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
373

Texas Tech University

22 to 1 60% 83% 63% 22% 52% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
374

Edgewood College

10 to 1 60% 81% 77% 26% 85% 4% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
375

University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

22 to 1 60% 81% 80% 36% 43% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
376

International Baptist College and Seminary

4 to 1 60% 79% N/A N/A 91% 2% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
377

Sessions College for Professional Design

15 to 1 60% 90% N/A N/A 53% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
378

Dominican University

11 to 1 59% 79% 63% 12% 90% 6% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
379

Central Michigan University

20 to 1 59% 79% 69% 19% 74% 6% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
380

Concordia University-Nebraska

14 to 1 59% 76% 78% 25% 73% 4% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
381

Corban University

15 to 1 59% 80% 31% 9% 94% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
382

Summit University of Pennsylvania

11 to 1 59% 74% 61% 32% 74% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
383

Wilkes University

15 to 1 59% 77% 82% 18% 84% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
384

California State University-Fresno

25 to 1 58% 83% 52% 18% 75% 7% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
385

Shasta Bible College and Graduate School

5 to 1 58% 100% 73% 55% 85% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
386

Florida International University

25 to 1 58% 88% 50% 20% 69% 10% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
387

Eastern Illinois University

15 to 1 58% 75% 50% 13% 73% 6% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
388

Saint Joseph's College of Maine

12 to 1 58% 86% 78% 20% 56% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
389

Winona State University

20 to 1 58% 81% 62% 24% 54% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
390

Southern New Hampshire University

30 to 1 58% 61% 92% 21% 52% 8% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
391

Plymouth State University

17 to 1 58% 76% 74% 20% 61% 5% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
392

CUNY Queens College

14 to 1 58% 85% 40% 8% 53% 5% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
393

SUNY at Purchase College

15 to 1 58% 81% 41% 10% 59% 7% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
394

Ashland University

14 to 1 58% 75% 77% 19% 59% 5% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
395

Oral Roberts University

16 to 1 58% 80% 64% 18% 87% 10% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
396

Arcadia University

10 to 1 58% 79% 59% 6% 94% 6% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
397

Cedar Crest College

10 to 1 58% 79% 67% 16% 75% 8% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
398

Robert Morris University

15 to 1 58% 85% 78% 13% 80% N/A N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
399

Dallas Baptist University

13 to 1 58% 72% 42% 17% 86% 8% N/A N/A
,
N/AN/A
400

University of St Thomas

9 to 1 58% 83% 78% 28% 78% N/A 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