76 percent of students at four-year Virginia colleges finish degrees on time

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The National Student Clearinghouse Research Center released a report Tuesday on college completion, and Virginia got a good grade. The report shows Virginia’s college students finishing their degrees at an impressive rate, above the national average. 

The report focuses on six-year completion rates for first-time, degree-seeking students. The average completion rate for college students from Virginia at four-year public institutions is 76 percent, compared to a national average of 61 percent. Only students from Iowa and New Hampshire had higher completion rates.

The report also looks at student behavior at public two-year, and private nonprofit four-year institutions. These groups are further subdivided into additional categories, including: students enrolling exclusively full-time until degree completion; students enrolling exclusively part-time; students with mixed enrollment; students age 24 or younger at first entry into college; and students aged 25 or older at first entry. 

“This report is unique in that it looks at real student behavior regarding degree completion,” said Peter Blake, director of Virginia’s State Council of Higher Education (SCHEV). “While the higher education community should be proud at the performance of these students, we can use this data to further improve student success by Virginians.”

SCHEV is the commonwealth’s coordinating body for Virginia’s system of higher education. It provides policy guidance and budget recommendations to the governor and General Assembly.

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