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Friday, July 12, 2019 1:00 am

On-time graduations on rise

PFW joins statewide trend of improved rates

ASHLEY SLOBODA | The Journal Gazette

Grad rates

On-time college completion rates

• Indiana University Bloomington, 69%

• Purdue University West Lafayette, 61%

• Ball State University, 54%

• University of Southern Indiana, 36%

• Indiana State University, 30%

• Purdue Fort Wayne, 21%

• Ivy Tech Community College, 11%

• Ivy Tech Fort Wayne, 9%

Source: 2019 College Completion Report

More students are graduating from Purdue University Fort Wayne on time, reflecting a statewide trend among public colleges, according to a new report released Thursday.

The Indiana Commission for Higher Education found nearly 41% of students at all colleges graduate on time, up from about 28% five years ago. The 2019 College Completion Report also noted about 62% of students graduate within six years.

“The data in this report serve as an important gauge for how Indiana's colleges and universities are preparing students, and how vital the support of the Indiana General Assembly is to the state's continued success in higher education,” Higher Education Commissioner Teresa Lubbers said in a statement.

Students graduate on time by completing a bachelor's degree within four years or an associate degree within two years.

At four-year colleges statewide, about 47% of students finished on time compared to about 36% five years ago. Main campuses typically had higher completion rates than satellite sites, the report said.

Purdue Fort Wayne has seen its on-time graduation rates rise from about 10% of students five years ago to about 21%, the report said. It also found about 54% of Mastodons graduate within six years, up from 43% in the same time frame.

On-time completion rates have also improved statewide for Ivy Tech Community College, from 3% to 11% in five years. About 34% of students graduate within six years, up from 28% in the same period, the report said.

The most recent data show 9% of Ivy Tech Fort Wayne students graduate on time and 30% do so within six years.

The report did not include historical data for each of the community college's campuses.

Multiple factors can influence completion rates, including a college's enrollment, mission and programs of study, the report said.

Adults, low-income and minority students are less likely to graduate on time, it added.

Closing the achievement gap by 2025 is a priority of the Commission for Higher Education, Lubbers said. The agency will release its Equity Report this summer.

“We cannot get to Indiana's big goal of 60% of Hoosiers with a quality post-secondary credential without the adult student population persisting and graduating,” Lubbers said.

asloboda@jg.net