High Cost of Low Community College Graduation Rates

In the latest Education Outlook, American Enterprise Institute (AEI) education expert Mark Schneider and American Institutes for Research economist Lu Michelle Yin explain the harmful impact of low community college graduation rates on students and states.

Key findings include:
•    LOW RATES: Community colleges are serving more and more students, but how well they're serving them (or taxpayers) is debatable: only 1 in 4 graduates, compared to 3 in 5 at four year schools.
•    ECONOMIC IMPACT: Cutting the dropout rate by half would generate substantial gains: the 160,000 "new" graduates would earn $30 billion more in lifetime income--and create an additional $5.3 billion in total taxpayer revenue.
•    POLICY SOLUTIONS: Community colleges can boost graduation rates and save money by streamlining the degree path, using online courses, and borrowing innovations from for-profit schools. Another potential game-changer is the competency-based model, which has helped Florida’s Valencia College achieve a 40 percent graduation rate.


Read the full report here.

Mark Schneider is a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and vice president at the American Institutes for Research. He is the author and editor of the forthcoming book Getting to Graduation: The Completion Agenda in Higher Education (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012) and can be reached at mschneider@air.org. Lu Michelle Yin is an economist and researcher at the American Institutes for Research and can be reached at myin@air.org. For help reaching any of AEI’s education scholars please contact Jenna Talbot at jenna.talbot@aei.org.

For help reaching any AEI scholars and for all other media requests, please contact Jesse Blumenthal at jesse.blumenthal@aei.org or 202.862.4870.

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About the Author

 

Mark
Schneider

  • Mark Schneider is a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute  and Vice President at the American Institutes for Research, based in Washington DC. Prior to joining AIR, he served as the U.S. Commissioner of Education Statistics from 2005-2008. He is also a Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the State University of New York, Stony Brook. He is the author and editor of numerous article and books on education policy, including Getting to Graduation: The Completion Agenda in Higher Education (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012),  Higher Education Accountability (Palgrave, 2010),  Charter Schools: Hope or Hype? (Princeton University Press, 2007), and  Choosing Schools (Princeton University Press, 2000), which won the Policy Study Organization’s Aaron Wildavsky Best Book Award. Schneider has been working to increase accountability by making data on college productivity more publicly available. To that end, he is one of the creators of www.collegemeasures.org and serves as the president of College Measures LLC, a joint venture of AIR and Matrix Knowledge Group.


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  • Phone: 2024035510
    Email: mark.schneider@aei.org

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