Our guest says the way graduation rates are calculated is not fair to low-income, first generation college-goers or to the institutions that serve them. (Like his.)
It’s no coincidence that college graduation rates are highest for the most selective schools. The Department of Education metric considers only first-time, full time, fall-starting college-goers who complete in six years or less. The Department of Ed.’s official graduation rate for these students is 59 percent; for students at schools with open admissions, it’s only 33 percent.
A growing number of college students complete their degrees, but are not counted in a school’s graduation rate because they are part-time, or transfer students, or they take longer than six years to finish.
That’s going to be a big deal if, as promised, the Obama administration ties federal financial aid to “value” metrics like the graduation rate. The Department of Ed. already publishes a College Scorecard, a website where families can go to compare prospective schools.
Our podcast guest Vinton Thompson, President of Metropolitan College of New York, says that the graduation rate is a poor metric that will do more harm than good if it doesn’t change.