Friday, September 11, 2009

Which High School Students Are Most Likely to Graduate From College?

U.S. News & World Report reports on a new study which notes the college graduation rate in the U.S. is only 44% and shows that success indicators may not be the ones people usually expect.

The implication for fraternity and sorority programs is interesting. Perhaps we should be putting more of a focus on the graduation rate of Greek members compared to the general population. Letting parents know that their son or daughter is more likely to finish a degree if they join a fraternity or sorority will likely resonate more than examples of "brotherhood" or even campus leadership - (Ed. Note).

Parents: Stop fretting so much about which high school your youngsters attend or how they score on the SATs. If you want your student to make it to a bachelor's degree, it's far more important for him or her to earn at least B's in high school and reach for the best possible college. Oh, and saving a few thousand bucks by sending your kid to a community college could turn out to be an expensive mistake.
Some of the nation's best-respected educational researchers are likely to reconsider much conventional wisdom today with the release of surprising findings from an analysis of educational records of more than 200,000 freshmen who started at public four-year colleges in 1999.

In the new "Crossing the Finish Line," William Bowen, a former president of Princeton University, argues that so many undergrads are dropping out (44 percent) that the country is in danger of losing its competitive edge to other nations.
The findings about actions parents, teachers, and institutions should take are interesting and may spark controversy:
  • High school grades are key
  • But the nature of the high school doesn't make much difference
  • Students shouldn't settle for less in a college
  • Admissions tests don't predict graduation
  • True achievement tests are useful indicators
  • B minuses aren't good enough
  • Today's community colleges are not the best solution
  • Cash helps but is not a cure-all
  • Some colleges are doing a much better job than others
  • There is some hope
More about these points in the full article:
Which High School Students Are Most Likely to Graduate From College? - Yahoo! News