By Emily Greenhalgh
PBN Web Editor
WASHINGTON – Graduation rates at Rhode Island colleges are better than the national average, especially for the state’s private four-year colleges, according to a study ranking 2010 graduation rates by The Chronicle of Higher Education.
Rhode Island’s private four-year colleges – Brown University, Bryant University, Johnson & Wales University, New England Institute of Technology, Providence College, Rhode Island School of Design, Roger Williams University and Salve Regina University – cumulatively ranked sixth in the nation for graduation rates in 2010, with a four-year graduation rate of 63.8 percent and a six-year graduation rate of 72.9 percent.
Of Rhode Island’s eight private colleges, Brown University ranked best. At Brown, 95.6 percent of students graduated in six years and 85.7 percent graduated in four. The Rhode Island School of Design and Providence College rounded out Rhode Island’s top three, with 86.7 percent and 85.9 percent six-year graduation rates, respectively.
The Ocean State’s four-year public colleges – Rhode Island College and the University of Rhode Island – ranked 19th in the country and boasted a cumulative four year graduation rate of 34.1 percent and a six-year graduation rate of 57.8
URI fared better than RIC, with a six year graduation rate of 62.7 percent versus a rate of 46.4 percent. URI’s four-year graduation rate was 41.9 percent in 2010, compared with RIC’s 15.7 percent.
Comparatively, the nationwide average graduation rate for four-year private colleges was 52.5 percent in four years and 65.5 percent in six years. The national average graduate rate for four-year public colleges was 31.3 percent in four years and 56 percent in six years.
The Community College of Rhode Island, Rhode Island’s only two-year school, saw only 9.3 percent of students graduated in 150 percent time, or 3 years. The U.S. average graduation rate for two-year public schools was 20.4 percent.
On the Chronicle’s ranking, each school’s graduation rate figures exclude students who may have transferred or eventually re-enrolled later to graduate from the same college, meaning that students who were not counted as graduates were not necessarily college dropouts.
The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth ranked 10 out of 13 for Massachusetts public four-year schools, with a six-year graduation rate of 48.5 percent and a four-year graduation rate of 28.6 percent.
Of the two four-year private schools in Bristol County, Mass. – Stonehill College and Wheaton College – Stonehill boasted an 84.7 percent six-year graduation rate and an 80.5 percent four-year graduation rate and Wheaton had a 76.1 percent six-year graduation rate and a 70 percent four-year rate.
To view the full study, visit: collegecompletion.chronicle.com.