Information Brief 2012-23

College Degree Completion Status at Year 7

among ACT-tested high school graduates who immediately enrolled in a two-year institution

For seven years, we tracked the progress of a group of ACT-tested 2003 high school graduates who enrolled in a two-year college in fall 2003. This brief focuses on the degree completion status of these students seven years later (through academic year 2009–2010).

As shown below, 24% of the students completed a bachelor’s degree by the end of year 7. An additional 17% of students had completed an associate’s degree, as their highest degree earned, by the end of year 7. A little over one-fourth of students who had not completed a degree (which is 16% of all students) were still enrolled in college seven years later.

Year 7 Degree Completion Status

Associate's and bachelor's degrees9
Bachelor's degree only15
Associate's degree only17
No degree, but still enrolled16
No degree, not enrolled43

Note: Based on National Student Clearinghouse data for a stratified random sample of 5,990 ACT-tested 2003 high school graduates who enrolled in a two-year college in fall 2003. The sample was weighted to be representative of the entire 2003 ACT-tested graduating class who immediately enrolled in college. For students enrolled in multiple institutions in fall 2003, initial institution type was based on the institution from which the student ultimately earned the highest degree and/or in which the student had enrolled for the greatest number of fall terms. In the sample, less than 1 percent of the students were initially enrolled in more than one institution. Degree certificates were not examined for this study.

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