|Graduation rate at ISU hits 70 percent|
|Written by Amanda Curry, Daily Vidette Reporter|
|Sunday, 30 August 2009 18:54|
Illinois State’s graduation rate hit 70 percent during the 2008 school year, according to data released by U.S. News and World Report.
ISU retained its ranking as a third tier university for the eighth consecutive year and also improved in the categories of six year graduation rate, academic reputation and acceptance rate.
This year’s data ranks ISU as second public university in the state, in regards to graduation rate. Ranked first is the University of Illinois at Champaign- Urbana.
Jay Groves, director of Illinois State media relations explained the graduation rate has been close to 70 percent for several years, and now finally made it over the tipping point.
“I think a couple of things got us here. It’s a testament to the quality of faculty and support staff and their educational mission,” he said.
This year’s average ACT for accepted students was 24.3 and the average grade point average was 3.4. These numbers have been steadily increasing over a number of years, explained Groves.
The acceptance rate at Illinois State is also the highest it has ever been.
“As ISU has become a better and more popular university we are attracting more motivated and academically talented students,” Groves explained.
The retention rates from year to year are rising as well. For the 2009 school year, ISU retained 85 percent of their freshman class.
“This is an outstanding percentage,” Groves said. “The more people you retain from year to year better chances you have for a high graduation rate.”
Illinois State is well above the state average of a 35 percent graduation rate. We also place above the national average of 53 percent.
“I think the same things that got us here will keep us here,” Groves said. “President Bowman has made it his top priority to attract and retain quality faculty and support staff.
“As the quality of students increases, the graduation rate will stay steady or may increase again.”
Students are proud of Illinois State for pushing into the 70 percent graduation rate as well.
Claire Wingstedt, sophomore business administration major, said, “It’s good to know that Illinois State is setting everyone up for success. It’s also encouraging to know you can get quality education for a somewhat decent price.”
Rankings are based on academic quality and excellence. Factors include assessment by administration at peer institutions, student retention, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, alumni giving and graduation rate performance.