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CU-Boulder undergraduate graduation & freshman retention highlights
Fall 2007

For first-time full-time new freshmen entering summer or fall terms
(full time = 12+ hrs, counted at end of the fall term)

Students graduating from institutions other than CU-Boulder are NOT counted in the graduation rates.

Rates are updated each October with fall census enrollment information and
degrees posted through the prior summer term.

Links within the following pages show detail, including tables and graphic plots

Fall 2007 Highlights

  • Overall
    • The overall 6-year graduation rate was 67% for the freshman class entering in 2001, the most recent entering class to have had a full 6 years to graduate. This was 1 percentage point higher than the previous 3 freshman classes, and almost equal to the peak of 68% for the fall 1997 entering class. The 6-year graduation rate is the standard used in federal and comparative reporting.
      • Freshmen who entered CU-Boulder as Colorado residents in the class entering in 2001 had a 6-year graduation rate of 72%, the highest ever since we began tracking in 1980.
      • The non-resident graduation rate was 62%, the same as the previous class, which followed two years of decline from the peak of 65% achieved by the classes of 1996 and 1997. The rate has been between 61% and 65% for each entering class since 1986. Non-residents are further from home and pay substantially higher tuition than residents; both factors contribute to their lower graduation rate.
    • The 4-year graduation rate was 41% for the freshman class entering in 2003, remaining at the highest rate on record for the third consecutive year. The 39% rate for non-residents equaled the all-time high, while the 42% rate for residents was one percentage point below the high.
    • The one-year retention rate for the freshman class entering in fall 2006 was 83%. It has been 83 or 84% for 11 of the last 12 entering classes.
      • The resident retention rate, which has held fairly steady for years, was 85%. The non-resident rate was 80%; it has fluctuated slightly more than the resident rate, but has been between 79% and 83% for the last 10 years.
  • Gender
    • Six-year graduation rates for women are consistently higher than those for men by 3-6 percentage points. This has been true for all classes entering since 1986, although rates fro men and women were about equal before that. Women also graduate faster--their four-year graduation rate consistently exceeds men's by 10-15 percentage points.
  • Students of Color -- See plot of 6-year graduation rates
    • Graduation rates for students of color are lower than those for whites. However, six-year graduation rates for more recent freshmen students of color, while showing some year-to-year fluctuations, are clearly higher than those for earlier classes, for each of Asian American, African Americans, and Hispanic/Chicanos.
    • The 6-year graduation rate for students of color in the freshman class entering in 2001 was 59%, up 1 percentage point from the previous class and only slightly below the all-time high of 60% reached by the 1998 and 1999 classes. The 6-year graduation rates of Asian-Americans, Hispanics, and African-Americans have all shown long-term gains. Asian-Americans reached an all-time high rate of 65%.
    • After a fairly substantial drop last year, the six-year rate for African-Americans rebounded to 51% for the most recent class to have completed six years. Although still short of the all time high of 59%, achieved two years ago, this is in keeping with an overall long-term upward trend, allowing for quite a bit of year-to-year fluctuation, probably partly owing to relatively small numbers.
    • The 4-year graduation rate of 33% for students of color in the freshman class entering in 2003 was an all-time high, and was the third consecutive increase.
    • The 1-year retention rate for students of color in the class entering in 2006 was 81%, a slight (1 percentage point) decline from the previous year; the long-term trend in retention among students of color continues to be steady, and generally 1 to 3 percentage points below white students.
  • Time to degree
    • Graduation rates are typically reported using 4-year, 5-year and 6-year rates. The rates represent the percentage of students who entered in a given fall (including prior summer entry) as new full-time freshmen and who graduated in four, five or six years. Graduation rates are used for comparisons among institutions, among groups of students (e.g., resident versus non-resident or by ethnicity), and for comparisons over time. For example, compared to Colorado residents, non-residents (at entry) have lower overall graduation rates (from 5-9 percentage points lower on the 6-year rate).
    • Graduation rates, however, do not answer the question of how long it takes, on average, for students to graduate. At CU-Boulder, graduation in four years is still the norm. If you look at a given entering freshman class and take those who graduated in six years, over half of them graduate in four years; in fact, this rate hit 60% this year for the first time ever. And non-resident students move faster to graduation than do Colorado residents. For example, in the most recent entering class who graduated within 6 years, 62% of the non-residents graduated in 4 years, compared to 59% of the residents (both rates at least equaling all-time highs).

    Prior-year highlights, from fall:   2006 |  2005

    Questions? E-mail

    PBA: L:\ir\tracking\anal\highlightsF06.doc

  • Last revision 05/02/16

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