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K-State leads state universities in retention, graduation rates

Friday, April 15, 2022

K-State students

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MANHATTAN — The latest data from the Kansas Board of Regents shows that Kansas State University is the best among state universities in Kansas when it comes to students successfully completing a college degree.

K-State has the highest freshman-to-sophomore student retention rate and six-year graduation rate among the state's six public universities, both of which are key metrics for determining student persistence and success.

According to the Kansas Board of Regents' 2020 data, the most recent available from all Regents' institutions, the university's retention rate was 86.1% and six-year graduation rate was 67.2%.

K-State's 86.1% student retention rate is the highest systemwide among Kansas Regents institutions, which includes the six state universities, Washburn University and the state's 19 community colleges and seven technical colleges.

When it comes to six-year graduation rates, the average time nationally it takes a student to finish a bachelor's degree, K-State leads the pack by a wide margin. Per the 2020 data, the university's rate was 6.3 percentage points higher than any other public university in the state. K-State data for 2021 shows the six-year graduation rate continues to improve and reached 68.4% in 2021 for the first-time full-time freshman cohort who entered the university in fall 2015. K-State's latest retention and graduation rates are available at k-state.edu/pa/data/student.

"K-State offers enrichment and support programs to students to help them complete their degree programs and pursue exciting career and advanced study opportunities," said Jeannie Brown Leonard, vice provost for student success.

Helping K-State students persist through to graduation are programs such as K-State First for first-year students, free academic tutoring, career and internship assistance, and more than $54 million in scholarships and awards to help students pay for their education.

"Our comprehensive student services, distinguished faculty and 250-plus degree programs and options make K-State the place for students to succeed," said Karen Goos, vice provost for enrollment management. "K-State supports students from the first time they step foot on campus to when they walk across the commencement stage with their degree."

A K-State degree pays off in the job market, too, with 97% of the university's 2020-2021 graduates reporting finding a job or continuing education within six months of their graduation. Niche.com and SmartAsset rank K-State as the best college in the state and where graduates typically earn the highest average starting salaries.