Graduation rate up at the U, but still low

  • Updated: December 9, 2010 - 10:53 PM

Give the University of Minnesota the "most improved" award for graduation rates.

70.4 percent

The U's six-year graduation rate in 2010, a historic high, according to a new report by the Chronicle of Higher Education. Compare that with a six-year rate of 66 percent in 2008, the last year reported, and with 54 percent in 2003. By comparison, the University of Wisconsin, Madison, was at 81 percent in 2008, up from 75 percent in 2003.

12 percentage points

The increase in the six-year rate from 2003 to 2008, the biggest growth in the Big Ten, according to the report. But that report also shows that among the 11 institutions in the Big Ten, the U still sits last.

50.2 percent

The four-year graduation rate at the U. Trying to improve its four-year rate -- the goal is 60 percent for 2012 -- the university gave students incentives to take full credit loads, made sure students can register for the classes they need and improved the undergraduate experience so students would stick around.

89.5 percent

The current retention rate of students who matriculated in 2009. The goal was 90 percent.

7 in 10

The number of poll respondents who say students are either a great deal or a lot to blame for poor graduation rates at four-year institutions, according to the Associated Press-Stanford University survey. Far less popular options: administrators, professors, unions and education officials.

JENNA ROSS

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