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K-State Today

November 30, 2015

K-State achieves record graduation rate

Submitted by Steven Dandaneau

A higher percentage of first-time, full-time undergraduates graduated in 2015 than previously in Kansas State University's modern history. In 2011, the six-year graduation rate was 55.7 percent; last year it was 59.9 percent. In 2015, K-State students achieved a 61.90 percent six-year graduation rate.

This achievement comes on the heels of a record first-to-second year retention rate, which between 2014 and 2015 stood at 83.45 percent. Clearly, K-State is building momentum toward our K-State 2025 goals.

In order to achieve recognition as a Top 50 public research university, we need to reach 90 percent first-to-second year retention and 70 percent six-year graduation rates. These goals are identical, for example, to those announced by the University of Kansas, and they are widely cited as accepted indicators of national excellence in undergraduate education.

In order to build on this exciting momentum and meet our K-State 2025 timetable, we first need to achieve 90 percent retention between fall 2019 and fall 2020. That would require about 65 additional students retained each and every of the next four years. Likewise, in order to reach 70 percent six-year graduation, we need to add on average about 35 additional graduates each year until 2025. These are attainable goals.

While we are likely to experience ups and downs along the way, our resolve to maintain current trends must not waiver. With the advent of new Kansas Board of Regents' qualified admissions criteria, the work of the newly created Enrollment Management Task Force, the integration of state-of-the-art advising tools, and the many efforts underway across the university to address a variety of specific student situations and needs — including first-generation, pre-health and engineering students, as well as through the Global Campus, Kansas State University Polytechnic Campus and Open Option — we are working to combine and coordinate diverse initiatives so that long-term positive results are increasingly built-in as the new K-State normal.



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