March 4, 2010

Graduation rates at Nevada colleges



The board of regents of the Nevada System of Higher Education is meeting today to discuss the budget reductions. We hope they take some time to dicuss improving the quality of education and increasing graduation rates as well.

But isn’t graduating on time the student’s responsibility? Yes and no. The problem is, NSHE is trying to sell itself as an institution of learning that is not only in high demand but adds value to Nevada's economy. Thus, those who run the system argue for more state support.

But why should the state give more support when it is already hard enough to determine the value of an undergraduate degree today? Furthermore, what is the value of the majority of students attending college but not graduating? Until this is resolved, we can’t say with any certainty that NSHE adds more value than it consumes in resources.

Here is a list of the 2008 graduation, retention and transfer-out rates for Nevada’s public colleges and universities. The data comes from the at the U.S. Department of Education. In the data provided, we are only looking at the graduation, retention and transfer-out rates of first-time, full-time students.

University of Nevada, Las Vegas
UNLV retains 76 percent of its full-time students after the first year, yet just 41 percent of full-time students will graduate after six years of college.

*UNLV graduation rates


*UNLV graduation rates by race


University of Nevada, Reno
UNR retains 75 percent of its full-time students after the first year yet graduates just 48 percent of its students within six years.

*UNR graduation rates


UNR graduation rates by race


College of Southern Nevada:

Retention rate: Unknown
Graduation rate: 4 percent
Transfer-out rate: 37 percent

Great Basin College

Retention rate: 57 percent
Graduation rate: 20 percent
Transfer-out rate: Unknown

Nevada State College
Retention rate: 54 percent
Graduation rate: 13 percent
Transfer-out rate: Unknown

Truckee Meadows

Retention rate: 61 percent
Graduation rate: 11 percent
Transfer-out rate: 18 percent

Western Nevada

Retention rate: Unknown
Graduation rate: 20 percent
Transfer-out rate: 25 percent

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