Completion rates are higher for ‘dual’ students

College completion rates are higher for former “dual enrollment” students who took college-level courses in high school, according to a new report. But that could reflect selection bias.

Overall, six-year completion rates ranged from 40 percent for those who started at community colleges, 63 percent who started at public universities and 73 percent for students who started at four-year private nonprofit institutions. At two-year for-profit colleges, which focus on job training, 62 percent completed a credential.

About Joanne


  1. Immigrant from former USSR says:

    What is so surprising in the fact that
    “College completion rates are higher for former “dual enrollment” students who took college-level courses in high school” ?
    Evidently there is strong selection of those who are willing and able to take ‘dual enrollment” courses.
    Non-trivial (and much less probable being true) would be that statement, with control group taking equal number of AP (Advanced Placement) courses in school, but _did_not_ take “dual enrollment” courses.

  2. Roger Sweeny says:

    Joanne suggests that there may be selection bias here: the people who are more likely to complete college no matter what they did in high school are also more likely to have taken college-level courses in high school.

    Anyone with a lick of sense (and who doesn’t believe that schools are magic) knows that selection bias in schooling is very real. Yet education researchers often act like it can be ignored. For example, people with a college degree make more than people without a college degree. It can’t be because of who they are–it can’t be because they are smarter or more ambitious or harder workers or better able to defer gratification or play by the rules–it must be THE EDUCATION.

    I will resist the obvious snark.

    • Many dual enrollment programs are designed to motivate “high-risk” students, so increased college success isn’t as obvious as it sounds. However, the report raised the issue of selection bias.