On May 12, 2017, students walked across the stage to earn their respected degrees in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Graduation rates have always been a crucial factor for when it comes to choosing the perfect college. If the school has a high graduation rate, that must mean the university is doing something correct, but that may not always be the case. It is important to pay attention to these graduation rates, but not make it the deciding factor.

Graduation rates not only matter before school, but also during and after. There has been a recent increasing interest in graduation rates. The Commission on the Future of Higher Education, also known as the Spellings Commission, made it known that there needs to be changes in higher education to address the ongoing gap between the college attendance and graduation rates between low-income students and their more affluent peers. This gap affects students tremendously and it is not just affecting those who are in college, but also alumni members who give back to their alma mater.

It is important to be mindful of schools that show indication of success, and graduation rates tend to show that. Lack of guidance, need of remedial courses, lack of advisors and students simply taking classes that do not matter, are a few of the many issues colleges have that lower graduation rates. This is concerning because these are issues that students cannot control and universities and colleges must check for themselves to make sure they are satisfactory.

Jeff Selingo, in the Chronicle of Higher Education, suggests there may be “peer effects” such that “being around other students who want to finish college makes a significant difference.” This brings up the idea of environmental circumstances and how they affect students, which leads to graduation rates rising or falling.

According to a study done by Complete College America, only 5 percent of full time students graduate on time with a two-year associate degree, 19 percent of full time students graduated on time with a four-year bachelors (nonflagship) and 36 percent of full time students graduate on time with a four-year bachelor’s degree (flagship/research).

An analysis by Georgetown University showed that, by 2020, 65 percent of jobs will require a degree, but there is a huge gap that is holding students back from obtaining degrees to get jobs.

Student-debt has been rising nonstop and it continues to rise, even for students who do not graduate. Graduation rates must increase without changing the demographics of students being admitted or reinforce the current academic standards. It is up to the college or university make sure students are getting what they need to succeed in their learning environment.

Editorial policy is determined by the student editor, and views expressed in editorials are those of the majority of The Vidette’s Editorial Board. Columns that carry bylines are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Vidette or the University.


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