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Illinois Board of Higher Education

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News Release


Jonathan Lackland

        Candace Mueller

February 26, 2013

National Student Clearinghouse Reports
On State Level College Completion Rates

Illinois’ public universities rank in the top five for six-year completion rates

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois public universities lead the nation in supporting nearly three-quarters of their students through to college completion, according to the results of The National Student Clearinghouse’s just released National Completions Report.  The report presents data on six-year student success outcomes and college completion rates by state, following students who enrolled in college in 2006, to their completion from college by 2012. 

The report finds that the overall national six-year completion rate for first-time degree-seeking students who started college in fall 2006 was 54.1 percent, including 12.1 percent who completed their education at an institution different from their starting institution. 

The overall six-year completion rate for Illinois students who started at four-year public institutions, four-year private, nonprofit institutions, and two-year public institutions was 73 percent, including 12 percent who completed their education at another institution; 71 percent, including 12 percent who completed their education at another institution; and 41 percent, including 14 percent who completed their education at another institution, respectively. 

In the category of four-year public institutions, Illinois is one of only five states that rank 20 percent above the national average for total completion and completion at the starting institution, due mainly to its high part-time completion rate.  For full-time students attending two-year public institutions, Illinois is one of only five states that rank 20 percent above the national average with the highest rate of students that subsequently complete at a four-year institution. 

“I am pleased that Illinois continues to perform well above the national average in the completion rates of college students,” stated Dr. Harry Berman, interim executive director of the Illinois Board of Higher Education. “But our goal, as presented in the Illinois Public Agenda for College and Career Success, Illinois’ policy plan for higher education, is not just to be above the national average, but rather to be among the top-performing states in educational attainment. By continuing to focus on the action steps outlined in the Public Agenda across all sectors of higher education and for all students, we will achieve that goal.”



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