New data reveals which college or university has the highest graduation rate in its state

state-graduation-rateAs many of the problems facing higher education come into national focus—student loan debt, low retention rates, inability to help students land a skilled degree—more online data resources are springing up to help students make the best return-on-investment (ROI) choices when choosing their institution…and there’s no better current indicator than graduation rate.

Already, some social savvy students may be using TIME’s new ranking, which measures how “influential” an institution is by alumni Wikipedia pages; or they’re trolling Facebook and Twitter to see how socially active an institution really is.

For those career-minded students focused on ROI when it comes to choosing a degree, ‘old-school’ considerations like average student SAT score, or new considerations like Wikipedia prestige, may not mean as much as what colleges have the highest graduation rate.

A graduation rate, once placed in high priority usually by concerned parents, is now becoming a necessity for students eager to obtain a degree that can translate into immediate job placement to help pay off student loans.

One resource website, eCollegeFinder, is taking data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) and looking specifically at the ‘Overall Graduation Rate’ metric by state.

The NCES defines this as “the overall graduation rate…known as the ‘Student Right to Know’ or IPEDS graduation rate. It tracks the progress of students who began their studies as full-time, first-time degree- or certificate-seeking students to see if they complete a degree or other award, such as a certificate, within 150 percent of ‘normal time’ for completing the program in which they are enrolled.”

“As the end of the school year approaches and graduation gowns are fitted, we look at which schools boast the highest likelihood of getting you across the stage with a diploma,” explains eCollegeFinder’s website. “For the sake of argument, we decided to only look at schools offering 4-year degrees with housing. Our goal was to look at those schools offering a more traditional college experience. We are dedicated to inspiring and informing students with comprehensive online tools and college information, leading us to make this informative graphic.”

What do you think of this 4-year institution graduation list? Will it better help students with their ROI? Is the list too simplistic? Why or why not? Leave your comments in the section provided below, email me at mstansbury@ecampusnews.com, or find me @eSN_Meris on Twitter.

(Next page: State-by-state graphic and partial list)

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For a larger version of the state images, click here.

Below you’ll find a list of the first 25 states listed in alphabetical order. Each state’s data includes the institution with the highest graduation rate, where it’s located in the state, and total number of students.

Alabama – Samford University

  • Location – Birmingham, Alabama
  • Graduation Rate – 71%
  • Total Students – 4,758

Alaska – Alaska Pacific University

  • Location – Anchorage, Alaska
  • Graduation Rate – 52%
  • Total Students – 657

Arizona – University of Arizona

  • Location – Tucson, Arizona
  • Graduation Rate – 61%
  • Total Students – 40,223

Arkansas – Hendrix College

  • Location – Conway, Arkansas
  • Graduation Rate – 72%
  • Total Students – 1,388

California – Pomona College

  • Location – Claremont, California
  • Graduation Rate – 96%
  • Total Students – 1,607

Colorado – Colorado College

  • Location – Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • Graduation Rate – 90%
  • Total Students – 2,022

Connecticut – Yale University

  • Location – New Haven, Connecticut
  • Graduation Rate – 96%
  • Total Students – 11,906

Delaware – University of Delaware

  • Location – Newark, Delaware
  • Graduation Rate – 82%
  • Total Students – 21,856

Florida – University of Florida

  • Location – Gainesville, Florida
  • Graduation Rate – 85%
  • Total Students – 49,913

Georgia – Emory University

  • Location – Atlanta, Georgia
  • Graduation Rate – 89%
  • Total Students – 14,236

Hawaii – University of Hawaii at Manoa

  • Location – Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Graduation Rate – 56%
  • Total Students – 20,426

Idaho – The College of Idaho

  • Location – Caldwell, Idaho
  • Graduation Rate – 64%
  • Total Students – 1,059

Illinois – Northwestern University

  • Location – Evanston, Illinois
  • Graduation Rate – 93%
  • Total Students – 21,215

Indiana – University of Notre Dame

  • Location – Notre Dame, Indiana
  • Graduation Rate – 95%
  • Total Students – 12,126

Iowa – Grinnell College

  • Location – Grinnell, Iowa
  • Graduation Rate – 90%
  • Total Students – 1,674

Kansas – University of Kansas

  • Location – Lawrence, Kansas
  • Graduation Rate – 64%
  • Total Students – 27,135

Kentucky – Centre College

  • Location – Danville, Kentucky
  • Graduation Rate – 87%
  • Total Students – 1,344

Louisiana – Tulane University

  • Location – New Orleans, LA
  • Graduation Rate – 75%
  • Total Students – 12,958

Maine – Bowdoin College

  • Location – Brunswick, Maine
  • Graduation Rate – 95%
  • Total Students – 1,839

Maryland – Johns Hopkins University

  • Location – Baltimore, Maryland
  • Graduation Rate – 92%
  • Total Students – 20,871

Massachusetts – Harvard University

  • Location – Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Graduation Rate – 97%
  • Total Students – 28,147

Michigan – University of Michigan – Ann Arbor

  • Location – Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Graduation Rate – 91%
  • Total Students – 43,426

Minnesota – Carleton College

  • Location – Northfield, Minnesota
  • Graduation Rate – 94%
  • Total Students – 2,055

Mississippi – Millsaps College

  • Location – Jackson, Mississippi
  • Graduation Rate – 72%
  • Total Students – 909

Missouri – Washington University in St. Louis

  • Location – St. Louis, Missouri
  • Graduation Rate – 94%
  • Total Students – 13,952

For the full list, visit eCollegeFinder’s website.


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