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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

55% complete college in 6 years

Of students who started college in 2010, only 54.8 percent completed a certificate or degree within six years, according to a new National Student Clearinghouse report. The six-year graduation rate was 62.4 percent for those who enrolled at four-year colleges and universities, 39.2 percent for those who started at community colleges.

Completion rates are highest for Asian-Americans and whites and lowest for African-Americans, notes Emily Tate in Inside Higher Ed.

Unlike previous studies, the report included part-time students and those who transferred from one institution to another.

“Community colleges have long been held out as engines of access to higher education,” co-author Doug Shapiro, executive research director for the Clearinghouse, said. However success rates were low for students who started at community colleges and transferred to a four-year state university. “After six years, about a quarter of Asian students and a fifth of white students had finished their degrees, compared to about a tenth of Hispanic students and one in 12 black students,” reports Tate.

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