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Good News about Student Staying Power

August 7, 2014

A new report from the National Student Clearinghouse shows that Keene State students are more likely to graduate than students at other public four-year institutions nationally.

This study differs somewhat from the graduation rates that are typically reported by colleges because it considers students who enroll both full- and part-time and it looks at graduation at both the original institution and at any other institution to which a student might transfer. The time-frame for this study was six years from entry to graduation. Nationwide, more and more students are transferring; some even transferring multiple times before completing their college degrees. This increase in transfers is due in part to work patterns and financial issues, sometimes to family relocation or other personal reasons. In recent years, colleges have searched for a way to track the success of the students who begin at their institution then transfer elsewhere. By documenting graduations from either the home institution or any other college in the US, this study begins to address that issue.

Here's the good news:

  • KSC’s graduation rate for this study was higher than for students at other public colleges nationwide (60% graduating from Keene State within six years, vs. 51% nationally, including both full- and part-time students).

  • Consistent full-time enrollment helps a student establish and maintain the academic momentum needed to get to graduation. A student who enrolls full-time year after year is less likely to drop out than a student whose enrollment is always part-time or a mixture of full- and part-time from one semester to the next. And KSC students appear to benefit even more from consistent full-time enrollment than students at other public institutions: 77% of students who consistently enrolled full-time at KSC earned degrees from Keene State within six years, compared to 72% for full-time students at other public colleges and universities.

  • KSC provides the foundation that all students need to succeed academically, even if they choose to transfer to another institution. KSC’s overall six-year completion rate (at KSC or elsewhere, including both full- and part-time students) is 75%, compared to 63% for students who began their studies at other four-year public institutions nationally.

The findings about the value of enrolling full-time are consistent with KSC’s own research that found that students who complete at least 30 credit hours in their first year of college are most likely to be retained. Earlier national studies also found that students who establish academic momentum early are more likely to graduate than those who do not.