Tracking Students to 200 Percent of Normal Time: Effect on Institutional Graduation Rates

Laura Horn:

This Issue Brief examines institutional graduation rates reported at 200 percent of normal time, a time frame that corresponds to completing a bachelor’s degree in 8 years and an associate’s degree in 4 years. The report compares these rates with those reported at 150 percent and 100 percent of normal time for all nine institutional sectors. The purpose is to determine whether the longer time frame results in higher institutional graduation rates.

One thought on “Tracking Students to 200 Percent of Normal Time: Effect on Institutional Graduation Rates”

  1. This doesn’t surprise me too much. They reported that taking six years to finish a 4-year degree (for example), increased graduation rates far more than taking 8 years for a 4-year degree (and similar for associates’ degrees too). In my experience (as a reading instructor and tutor for teens through adults), students taking half again as much time to finish (150% “normal time”) will still usually make it through. If it is taking them 200% of the usual number of semesters to finish, they will often drop out completely because they feel it is too hard or they are not making progress because of personal influences (single parenthood, changing employment market, etc.).
    Also interesting that the graduation rates for students taking longer did not increase to any greater degree for Historically Black Colleges or Universities (HBCU’s) or for Hispanic students. I gather that many expected that it would have more of an effect on non-white college students’ completion rates.

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