The Truth Behind Graduation Rates

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57% of students enrolled in college do not graduate after six years. Of that 57%, 33% of them drop out entirely.

Recent studies show that students are taking longer than ever to earn their degrees. Four years was the accepted norm, the 5- or 6-year plan has now become something of a standard in colleges and universities across the country. Is this student choice, or does factors beyond their control cause it? 57% of students enrolled in college have not completed their degree after six years. Of that 57%, 33% of them drop out entirely. This is an incredible loss not only to the universities but also to the families of the students themselves who then carry around the financial debt without the respective degree.

Writing for The New York Times, economist Judith Scott-Clayton puts forth a few reasons’ students are taking drastically longer in school with no clear and visible signs. Her first point: Many more students work jobs to pay for college now than before. This correlates a point made in an April 2010 study by John Bound, Michael F. Lovenheim, and Sarah Turner that low-income students generally extend their schooling the most.

 Time in the workplace takes away from time in the classroom, necessitating more extended study. However, the money students earn from working their way through four years of college may not be enough to cover the fifth year. In the end, it could’ve been a better bargain for them to graduate sooner.

There is also a second primary reason for students deferring graduation, Advising. According to Dr. Bob Neuman, a former associate dean of academic advising at Marquette University, “Students don’t take advantage of advising.” “Whether your grades are high, medium, or low. Talking with an advisor is helpful. It always helps to be talking with somebody.” DegreeSight is looking to solve this problem by building an open-source platform that allows students and advisors to more appropriately help one another get the desired result of students graduating and breaking into the workforce.

DegreeSight is an intuitive self-service advising platform for two and 4-year on-campus or online institutions who want to improve their retention and graduation rates. Degreesight has solved the problem of miscommunication between students and advisors by creating a tool to provide transparency and usability.


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