Business Insider/Andy Kiersz, data from US Department of Education
- Graduation rates vary widely among US colleges and universities.
- Using data from the Department of Education, we found a weighted average of graduation rates for colleges and universities located in each state and DC.
- Colleges in coastal states and Iowa had very high graduation rates.
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Colleges across the US have different graduation rates, and as the map above shows, those rates vary from state to state.
The Department of Education provides data on the share of undergraduate students who complete their degree within 150% of the expected time — that is, graduating within six years for a standard four-year bachelor’s degree. For each state, we took an average of those graduation rates among all the colleges and universities in that state that mainly award bachelor’s degrees, as opposed to certificate programs or associates degrees.
Those graduation rates were among first-time, full-time students who entered college in the 2011-2012 academic year, six years before the 2017-2018 year, the most recent year for which data was available. State rates were calculated by taking the average rate among all schools in-state, weighted by the size of each school’s entering class in 2011.
Colleges and universities in Washington, DC, had a higher weighted average than in any state, and since we are focusing on states, DC is omitted from the following list.
Here are the 15 states with the highest weighted average college graduation rate:
15. California: 64.1% of students at colleges in California graduated within six years.
California has dozens of prominent colleges, including Southern California University, California Institute of Technology, and the University of California state-run system.
14. Minnesota: 64.9% of students at colleges in Minnesota graduated within six years.
Prominent colleges include the University of Minnesota, which has its flagship campus in Minneapolis.
13. Delaware: 65.3% of students at colleges in Delaware graduated within six years.
Prominent colleges in Delaware include the University of Delaware and Wilmington University.
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