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Average Graduation Rate At U.S. Colleges

What Is The Average Graduation Rate?

The graduation rate is a percentage of graduate candidates who complete their degree in expected completion timeIn general, the graduation rate is computed based on the completion in the 150% of normal time. For example, for the 4-years bachelor's degree programs, the number of completers who completed in 6 years is used to compute the graduation rate.
The average graduation rate of U.S. colleges is 56.33%. It includes all institutions' rate (i.e. 4-years and 2-years or less) where the graduation data is available. In public colleges, the graduation rate is 44.90% and private schools' rate is 58.42%.
By gender, the female students' graduation rate is 67.03% and male students' rate is 60.72%.
The schools in below list are the top 5 U.S. colleges that have the highest graduation rate. Princeton University has the highest graduation rate of 98% among U.S. colleges. Yale University and Harvard University also have higher graduation rate of 97% and 97% respectively. For the ranking, we exclude colleges with less than 5,000 students. You can view more schools at U.S. colleges with high graduation rate.
The following table summarizes the average graduation rate in United States.
The Average Graduation Rate
TotalPublicPrivate (not-for-profit)Private (for-profit)
Total56.33%44.90%58.42%65.34%
4 years or high53.60%49.10%57.25%47.31%
2-4 years46.81%35.25%65.04%63.52%
less than 1 year69.99%74.39%72.79%69.16%

Bachelor's degree Graduation Rate

For the four-years institutions where BS degree grants, the average graduation rate is 64.16%. 983,841 students graduated out of 1,533,341 candidates. 29,777 students are still enrolled in the schools and 218,171 students are no longer enrolled or transferred out to other institutions.
By completion time, 723,160 students have completed their degree in 4 years or less as the rate is 47.16% at U.S. colleges. 211,175 students completed in 5 years and 188,394 students earned their BS degree in 6 years.
The following table summarizes the graduation rate and number of completers by gender and completion time for U.S. collegesNumbers in parentheses in each column indicate the number of completers over candidates in the corresponding category.
Graduation Rate by Gender and Completion Time at U.S. colleges
TotalFemale StudentsMale Students
Graduation Rate (in 150% normal time)64.16%
(983,841/1,533,341)
60.72%
(422,961/696,540)
67.03%
(560,880/836,801)
In 4 Years or Less47.16%
(723,160/1,533,341)
41.71%
(290,561/696,540)
51.70%
(432,599/836,801)
In 5 Years13.77%
(211,175/1,533,341)
15.31%
(106,665/696,540)
12.49%
(104,510/836,801)
In 6 Years3.23%
(49,506/1,533,341)
3.69%
(25,735/696,540)
2.84%
(23,771/836,801)
Transfer-out12.29%
(188,394/1,533,341)
12.35%
(86,031/696,540)
12.23%
(102,363/836,801)
No longer Enrolled1.94%
(29,777/1,533,341)
2.33%
(16,251/696,540)
1.62%
(13,526/836,801)
Still Enrolled21.20%
(325,092/1,533,341)
24.24%
(168,826/696,540)
18.67%
(156,266/836,801)