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Highlights Fall 2006
CU-Boulder undergraduate graduation & freshman retention highlights
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 2006 Highlights
- The overall 6-year graduation rate was 66% for the freshman class entering in 2000, the most recent entering class to have had a full 6
years to graduate. This was the same rate as for the previous two freshman classes, and a bit lower than 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 2000 had a 6-year graduation rate of 69%, just below the
all-time high of 70% achieved by the previous year’s class.
- The non-resident graduation rate increased by a point to 62%, following 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 2002, remaining at the highest rate on
record. Rates for both residents (43%) and nonresidents (39%) from this class were at all-time highs.
- The one-year retention rate for the freshman class entering in fall 2005 was 84%. It has been 83 or 84% for 10 of the
last 11 entering classes.
- The non-resident retention rate, in decline for several years, jumped to 82%, the highest since the class entering in 1999.
The resident retention rate has held fairly steady for years, and remained at 86%.
Students of Color -- See plot of 6-year graduation rates
- 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 for 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.
Time to degree
- 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 2000 was 58%, off from the all-time high of
60% reached by the previous two classes. The 6-year graduation rates of Asian-Americans, Hispanics, and African-Americans have all
shown long-term gains. Hispanics reached an all-time high rate of 60%. The graduation rate for Asian-Americans also remained near
- The rate for African-Americans showed a fairly substantial drop from last year’s all-time high; although the overall long-term
trend remains upward, there are more fluctuations from year to year, probably partly owing to relatively small numbers. It is
hoped that the drop from last year is a one-year aberration, but this will be closely monitored.
- The 4-year graduation rate of 32% for students of color in the freshman class entering in 2002 equaled the all-time high for
the second consecutive year.
- The 1-year retention rate for students of color in the class entering in 2005 was 82%; the long-term trend in retention among
students of color continues to be steady to slightly up.
- 3,720 students who had entered CU-Boulder as freshmen earned bachelor's
degrees in fiscal year 2006 (summer, fall, spring). Their average time
to degree is 4.3 years. These students matriculated as early as
1981, as late as 2004. 50% entered in 2002 or later (graduated in 4
years). 36% entered in 2001 (graduated in 4-5 years).
14% entered in 2000 or earlier.
- 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. Non-resident students move faster to graduation than do Colorado residents.
who graduate in six years, generally 55-60% of the non-residents take four years, compared to 50-55% of Colorado
residents. Actually, this number reached 62% for non-resident graduates who entered in 2000, the most recent cohort -- an all-time high.
Prior-year highlights, from fall:
Questions? E-mail IR@colorado.edu