College freshmen who averaged at least 15 credits per term during their first year were 19 percentage points more likely to graduate in four years, according to a study of nearly 1.3 million full-time college students at 137 institutions recently released by EAB.

The findings show that it is especially important for incoming students to take 15 credits per term, despite the fact that, at most colleges and universities, 12 credits per term is considered full-time.

Freshmen who took 15 credits per term—even students entering college with lower high school GPAs—were also more likely to enroll for sophomore year and get better...

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