Academic Degree and Second-year Retention Rates Essay

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National Collegiate Retention and Persistence to Degree Rates
Since 1983, ACT has collected a comprehensive database of first- to second-year retention rates and persistence to degree rates. These rates provide national benchmarks for institution type and level of selectivity. Data are compiled by ACT from the ACT Institutional Data Questionnaire, an annual survey of information collected from two-year and four-year postsecondary institutions.

First- to Second-Year Retention Rates
Table 1: Summary Table: National First- to Second-Year Retention Rates by Institutional Type Table 2: First- to Second-Year Retention Rates: Two-Year Colleges by Admission Selectivity Table 3: First- to Second-Year Retention Rates: Four-Year Public Colleges by Level of Selectivity and Degrees Offered Table 4: First- to Second-Year Retention Rates: Four-Year Private Colleges by Level of Selectivity and Degrees Offered

Persistence to Degree Rates
Table 5: Summary Table: National Persistence to Degree Rates by Institutional Type Table 6: Persistence to Degree Rates: Two-Year Institutions by Level of Selectivity Table 7: Persistence to Degree Rates: Four-Year Public Institutions by Degrees Offered and Level of Selectivity Table 8: Persistence to Degree Rates: Four-Year Private Institutions by Degrees Offered and Level of Selectivity

For more information, contact ACT Educational Services at 319.341.2275 or go to www.act.org

© 2012 by ACT, Inc. All rights reserved. 18537

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Important Information About These Tables
Beginning with the 2004 ACT Institutional Data Questionnaire (IDQ), several changes took place in the format, collection, and reporting of these data. 1. The definitions of two important data elements were modified: institutional selectivity and level of degree offerings. 2. The IDQ information was collected online rather than in traditional paper format. 3. Previous tables published by ACT featured “freshman to sophomore dropout rates.” Those rates are now reported as “first- to second-year retention rates.” Individuals who compare these results with previous reports or monitor trends in these data should keep this change in mind. 4. These reports are based on data accumulated through 6/1/12. Many of the tables are reported by institutional admission selectivity. The selectivity categories used are based on the general descriptions below. ACT Middle 50% 25–30 21–26 18–24 17–22 16–21 SAT Middle 50%* 1710–2000 1470–1770 1290–1650 1230–1530 1170–1480

Selectivity Level Highly Selective Selective Traditional Liberal Open

Definition Majority admitted from top 10% of H.S. class Majority admitted from top 25% of H.S. class Majority admitted from top 50% of H.S. class Majority admitted from bottom 50% of H.S. class Generally open to all with H.S. diploma or equivalent

* SAT score ranges are a point-to-point concordance with ACT scores based on a joint study by ACT and the College Board. Selectivity ranges may vary from one institution to another.

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Table 1

Summary Table: National First- to Second-Year Retention Rates by Institutional Type
Degree Level/Control N SD* Mean %

Two-year Public Two-year Private BA/BS Public BA/BS Private MA/1st Professional Public MA/1st Professional Private PhD Public PhD Private Total
* Standard Deviation

772 70 88 353 223 505 258 274 2,543

12.5 27.9 13.0 22.3 12.1 17.7 15.0 14.5 N/A

55.5 55.5 65.2 67.3 69.7 70.3 76.7 80.2 66.5

Source: ACT Institutional Data File, 2012 3

Table 2

First- to Second-Year Retention Rates:
Two-Year Institutions by Admission Selectivity
Admissions Selectivity Two-Year Private Institutions Mean N SD Two-Year Public Institutions Mean N SD All Institutions in Row Mean N SD

Highly Selective Selective Traditional Liberal Open All Institutions in Column

— — 63.7 53.9 48.2 55.5

1 2 18 13 36 70

— — 27.2 24.3 26.7 27.9

— — 54.9 61.4 55.3 55.5

— 1 7 14 750 772

— — 6.6 9.8 12.4 12.5

— — 61.2 57.8 55.0 55.5

1 3 25 27…