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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


UA leads in national four-year graduation rates

Rebecca Noble

Members of the Class of 2014 during the UA 150th commencement ceremony at Arizona Stadium on May 17. According to a report by Complete College, the UA four-year graduation rate is above the national average graduation date.

According to a Complete College report, most college students in America do not graduate within four years, but the UA graduation rate exceeds that national average.

Complete College, a nonprofit organization, released “The Four-Year Myth” in early November, a report that stated college students in America do not graduate within the general student goal of four years.

Complete College works toward improving the quality of higher education and the amount of Americans who receive college degrees and career certificates.

The number of students who graduate within four years at the UA exceeds the national average indicated by the Complete College study. According to “The University of Arizona Fact Book,” 40 percent of students who began their freshmen year in fall 2007 graduated within four years and 61 percent graduated within six years.

According to the Complete College report, only 19 percent of students from non-flagship universities and 36 percent of students from flagship universities with “very high research” receive their bachelor’s degree within four years.

Flagship universities are defined as the main public universities of a state.

Additionally, the report says that in the last 20 years, over 31 million students have gone to college and never ended up receiving a degree, adding that far too many students get lost in the process or are slowed down due to unclear expectations. 

“Metrics like these are unacceptable, especially when we consider that students and their families are trying desperately to control the skyrocketing costs of higher education,” the report says. “As lifetime savings are depleted and financial aid packages run out, the extra time on campus means even more debt and for far too many students, additional semesters do not result in a degree or credential.”

Jeff Orgera, senior assistant vice president with Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, said the UA has many resources to help students graduate on time, but they simply need to take advantage of them.

“We’ve done a good job on this campus to make sure that the courses that you need to graduate are available,” Orgera said. ‘We’ve also done a lot of working closely with students to help them find their goals and their pathway, because it can be pretty overwhelming.”

Oftentimes, many students are unprepared for college-level work, independent life on campus or which path to take in a major, Orgera said, and this can make it difficult to get through it all in four years.

Some of the other causes the College Complete report outlines that contribute to low graduation rates include not taking the required courses on schedule, entering college with remedial math proficiency and excessive graduation requirements.

“Get involved in our campus community,” Orgera said. “Get engaged. Whatever it is, the reason why coming to the university is such an amazing opportunity is because of all these resources.”


Follow Benny Sisson on Twitter.

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