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College Graduation Rates Might Surprise You


Almost half of first-time students who enroll in a four-year postsecondary institution fail to graduate from that institution within six years, according to data by the U.S. Department of Education and the National Center for Education Statistics.

On average, 59 percent of students graduate from the four-year college they started out of high school. That number is even smaller when considering students who did not graduate within the typical four years.

What are some of the reasons that bright, high-achieving high school students struggle in college?

  • Time management – Schedules are set in high school and teachers constantly remind students – and their parents – of upcoming deadlines, homework and projects. You are on your own in college, so it’s imperative to outline a plan for success in every class.
  • Attendance – There are no truancy officers or assistant principals calling your dorm if you decide to skip a class or two. While some classes do not require attendance, students who attend are more successful.
  • Schedule Wisely – To encourage good attendance, be realistic when scheduling classes. If Wednesday is late-night trivia with friends, an 8 a.m. class across campus on Thursdays is probably not the best choice.
  • Hand Write Notes – Studies have shown that students retain more information when class notes are hand written. Leave the laptop at home and come prepared with a pencil and notebook.
  • Take a Seat – Students who sit near the front of the class – especially in large lecture halls – tend to stay focused better during class.
  • Make a Friend – Network with other students in your classes and major and succeed together.

What tips do you recommend for succeeding in college?