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10 Schools With the Highest 4-Year Graduation Rates from U.S. News & World Report

December 3, 2013

For many families and students heading off to college full-time, most begin school with hopes to graduate in 4 years. Colleges and universities often structure their undergraduate offerings to accommodate this 4-year track, however, how realistic is it that you or your student will graduate on time? U.S. News & World Report recently shared the 10 schools with the highest 4-year graduation rates, topping out at 90.9%. Whether or not your school makes the list, disruptions to the 4-year track can and do happen to college families, even at the elite schools listed below. Are you prepared?

According to the U.S. Department of Education, only 37.1% of full-time, first-time students earn their bachelor’s degree within 4 years. What kinds of resources does your school have in place to help students achieve success? An interruption to the four-year path can be difficult for families to recover from, especially if there are financial obstacles. Paying for college can be difficult, even without an unfinished semester to add to tuition bills.

When entering college it is important to ask questions about the school’s commitment to student success and what the school does to protect its students. Many schools have a wealth of resources available to students and families to ensure students are on the path to success, so be sure to ask about what your school offers:

  • What resources are available on campus if a student starts falling behind in class?
  • Where can a student go to make sure they’re on track with class requirements in order to graduate on time?
  • Are there counseling services available if the student becomes overwhelmed?
  • What is the school’s refund policy if the student is forced to withdraw during the semester? Does the school offer tuition refund insurance?
  • What is your school’s 4-year graduation rate?
  • Does your school offer summer classes? Is it easy to transfer summer credits from another institution?

Does your school make the list? Check out the list from U.S. News & World Report below:

School name (state) 4-year graduation rate U.S. News rank and category
Carleton College (MN) 90.9% 7, National Liberal Arts Colleges
Williams College (MA) 90.8% 1, National Liberal Arts Colleges
Bowdoin College (ME) 90.7% 4, National Liberal Arts Colleges
Columbia University (NY) 90% 4, National Universities
College of the Holy Cross (MA) 89.9% 25, National Liberal Arts Colleges
Haverford College (PA) 89.5% 9, National Liberal Arts Colleges
Davidson College (NC) 89.4% 9, National Liberal Arts Colleges
Georgetown University (DC) 89.4% 20, National Universities
Lafayette College (PA) 89.2% 36, National Liberal Arts Colleges
Yale University (CT) 89% 3, National Universities

There are many risks students face that can disrupt their education, from a health condition to a failed class to the death of a parent. Making sure you and your family are aware of these risks can help you take measures to protect yourself from these risks, and ensure you’re on the path to graduation!

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