Undergraduate Retention and Graduation Rates

Here you will find graduation rate information about our full-time freshmen that entered during the summer or fall semesters and are taking 12+ hours at the end of the fall term.

Fall 2016 Highlights

We've created a single page print out for those wanting an "at a glance" view of the data.

Student Success Profile (PDF)


The overall 6-year graduation rate was 70% for full-time freshmen entering in 2010, the most recent class to have had a full 6 years to graduate.  This represents a decline of 1 percentage point from last year’s record high, but is the second-highest ever, equal to the rates for the cohorts of 2007 and 2008 and exceeding all prior cohorts. This is the first decline in grad rates since 1998’s entry cohort and is the first entry cohort since 2004’s not to equal or better the previous all-time high. 

By Residency

The 6-year graduation rate for both Colorado residents and non-residents also fell off by 1 percentage point from the previous cohort’s, dropping from all all-time high of 75% to 74%.  Again, this equals the second highest rate ever.  The same is true for non-residents; the rate dropped by a point to 65%, and this equals the second-highest all-time rate.

By Gender

Female students dropped a point from the previous cohort’s all time high of 75%, with 74% of those who entered in 2010 graduating in 6 years or less.  Again, this is still the second-highest rate ever.   Males graduated at a 66% rate, a drop of 3 percentage points from the previous cohort’s record high.

Students of Color

The 6-year graduation rate for students of color in the entering class of 2010 equaled the all-time high of 66%, maintaining the rate of the prior year’s cohort. The gap between students of color and white students was 5 percentage points, equaling the smallest gap ever since we started measuring in 1980.

Pell Grant recipients

The 6-year graduation rate for recipients of federal Pell Grants (a proxy for lower income students) entering in 2010 was 63%, equaling the all-time high achieved by the entering class of 2007, and an increase of 1 percentage point over the previous class.

The 4-year graduation rate for the class entering in 2012 was 47%, equaling the all-time high achieved by the entry cohorts of 2009 and 2010, and 2 percentage points higher than the previous class.  Colorado residents and non-residents each showed a 2-point increase, with non-residents equaling their record high and residents one percentage point below theirs.  The 4-year rate for students of color was 42%, an all-time high.

The one-year retention rate for freshmen entering in 2015 was 87%, a new all-time high for the second consecutive year, following last year’s 86% rate. It was between 83-85% every year from 2001-13, so this represents real progress in the campus’s efforts to achieve an 80% overall grad rate.

Detailed Reports and Data

Retention and Graduation Rates

Graduation Rates

  • For CU Boulder student athletes