Kentucky leads the way in improving college completion rates
December 08, 2022
Kentucky’s gains in six-year college completion rates tied for second best in the nation, according to a National Student Clearinghouse Research Center report.
Completing College: National and State Reports updates the six-year college completion rates nationally and for each state by tracking the enrollment and completion outcomes for the fall 2016 cohort of beginning college students through June 2022.
Kentucky’s six-year college completion rate increased by 1.1 percentage points, making it one of only five states that saw gains of 1 percentage point or more. Although six-year completion rates improved in over half of states, only Kentucky, Rhode Island at 2.1 percentage points, Utah at 1.1 percentage points, Louisiana and Maryland, both at 1 percentage point, saw gains of 1 percentage point or more.
“These data show that Kentucky is leading the pack in increasing college completion rates, and that is a testament to our campuses’ and state leaders’ dedication to ensuring every Kentuckian has access to the resources they need to succeed—regardless of income or background,” said Council on Postsecondary Education President Aaron Thompson. “Here at CPE, we’ve doubled down on our investment in helping our institutions meet students’ needs—whether they be academic, social, emotional or even basic needs like food and housing—so they have the support they need to make it to graduation.”
These data show that Kentucky is leading the pack in increasing college completion rates, and that is a testament to our campuses’ and state leaders’ dedication to ensuring every Kentuckian has access to the resources they need to succeed." - CPE President Aaron Thompson
Breaking down the data, Kentucky was one of just four states that grew completion rates at community colleges by more than 2.5 percentage points. Kentucky’s community college completion rate increased by 3 percentage points, the second highest gain in the nation after South Dakota with gains of 4.1 percentage points.
The national completion rate counts all students who enter postsecondary education for the first time each fall, enroll full-time or part-time at two-year or four-year institutions and complete at any U.S. degree-granting institution. The data also include information about students who complete after transfer, in addition to those who complete at their starting institution. These data more accurately capture student success, which increasingly involves mobility across institutions, re-entry after stop-out and changes in enrollment intensities.
Last Updated: 1/11/2023