first-time students

Incredible: Grad rates at minority-serving institutions have skyrocketed


A new report reveals MSI completion rates are much higher than federal data indicate.

Minority serving institutions’ (MSIs) completion rates are substantially higher than federal data indicate, according to a new paper from the American Council on Education’s (ACE) Center for Policy Research and Strategy (CPRS).

The report, Pulling Back the Curtain: Enrollment and Outcomes at Minority Serving Institutions, uses data from the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC) to examine how students who started college at an MSI in 2007 moved through higher education.

NSC data capture student enrollment profiles and outcomes beyond what is available through U.S. Department of Education data, such as federal graduation rates.

The report’s authors determined that MSIs have higher completion rates than suggested by federal graduation rates based on the way the NSC data follow students through their educational journeys, including when they change institutions. At times, those completion rates are substantially higher than previously believed.

(Next page: Which group of students has the highest graduation rates?)

Laura Ascione