EMU ranks high, very competitive in graduation rates

-Excerpted from the Daily News Record, June 10, 2009

A study tracking graduation rates ranked Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) among the top schools in the region.

With 71 percent* of its freshmen graduating within six years, EMU tied with two other schools for fifth place in the regional “very competitive” category. The report was issue by the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research.

EMU graduation rates high

The state average graduation rate for Virginia is 56.7, while the national average is 53.

The survey looked at nearly 1,400 schools over six years to find out how many first-time freshmen who were enrolled full time graduated from the same college. The study then grouped the four-year institutions geographically and divided them again into five categories based on how difficult it is to be accepted by the school.

Overall, the researchers found that about 53 percent of the 1.2 million students surveyed donned a cap and gown within six years after they stepped into class. In Virginia, the average is about 57 percent.

“At a time when college degrees are valuable – with employers paying a premium for college graduates – fewer than 60 percent of new students graduated from four-year colleges within six years,” the report’s executive summary said.

“While student motivation, intent, and ability matter greatly when it comes to college completion,” the report continued, “our analysis suggests that the practices of higher education institutions matter, too.”

View the full report online at www.aei.org/paper/100019

*EMU calculates its average graduation rate over the last five years at 65%, still well above state and national averages.