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Kentucky: Council on Postsecondary Education

Retention & Graduation Rates

This page is updated annually in the Spring.

The following data include information about student success including retention rates, graduation rates, and students who successfully transfer, broken out in various ways.

Tables & Reports

Retention Rates

Graduation Rates

Technical Definitions
  • Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP)
    A number used by the federal government to identify an academic program or major. Similar majors tend to fall under the same first two numbers within a CIP.
  • First-Time Student
    A student who enters a college or university as their first traditional higher education experience. This does not include students who are still enrolled in high school and take dual credit postsecondary courses.
  • Graduation Rate
    The proportion of students who enter as first-time, full-time degree-seeking students in a given summer or fall who also earn a credential within 150 percent of the time normally needed to complete the degree. For example: bachelor’s degree graduation rates are calculated over six years, associate’s degrees are calculated over three years.
  • Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS)
    The National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) collects information annually from all postsecondary institutions that participate in the federal financial aid program through the IPEDS system of surveys.
  • Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS)
    Kentucky's system of two-year public community and technical colleges.
  • Matriculation
    Successfully moving from one level of education to another, such as completing a high school diploma or GED and matriculating to a college, or completing a two-year degree and matriculating to a university to work on a four-year degree.
  • Persistence
    Continued enrollment of students as they work toward completing a credential.
  • Retention
    The proportion of first-time postsecondary students who enter a public Kentucky institution in a given fall semester and return to any Kentucky institution the following fall semester.
  • Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM)
    Student majors or degrees that fall under the federal Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) list of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics programs based on their federal Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) codes.


Retention - Related Links

Graduation Rates - Related Links

Last Updated 4/22/2011
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