Graduation rate depends on different factors

By Kendra Clark
February 1, 2001

Kendra Clark
staff writer

Money may be sparse for many college students, but information compiled by the government shows that Cabrini students may be saving money.

According to the 1999 NCAA Rates for Division II and III schools, Cabrini is near the top of the list with a rate of 62 percent.

The government on a six-year period compiles the graduation rates. The cohorts only include the percentage rates of first time full time students who enter the institution in the fall. The cohort, which is included in this study, represents those students who entered their institution in the fall of 1992.

According to Ray Matzelle, Assistant Dean for Academic Services, the government calculates over a six -year period because students may change their major, double major, or take extra courses.

When comparing Cabrini to Division II and III state schools one can see the differences in percentage. California University of Pennsylvania was calculated to have a percentage of 42, Lock Haven University jumped up a few points to 52 percent, where Slippery Rock increased to have a rate of 53 percent and West Chester was up to 54 percent.

In other Division II and III schools, Cabrini faired just as well against bigger names. Kutztown University averaged 47 percent, Shippensburg University moved up to 58 percent and Millersville edged Cabrini by a couple of points with a rate of 65 percent.

When asked why Cabrini faired so well, Matzelle said, “Cabrini tries hard to retain their students by giving them time.” He also added, “The faculty cares about their students.”

When comparing percentages to schools like Penn State University, University of Pittsburgh, and Temple University, the percentages will go up. According to Matzelle these schools are selective and require high SAT and grade point averages. Penn State averaged 80 percent, main campus, University of Pittsburgh decreased to 62 percent and Temple University was low with 42 percent.

“Some schools try harder to maintain students through activities and tutoring,” Matzelle said. He also added that schools that are more select would have higher rates because students with higher SAT scores and grade point averages have success in higher education.

When asked why the rates fluctuate between schools Matzelle said, “Some rates reduce because students transfer out, you will never see 100 percent because things come up. Some schools select only students with high SAT and grade point averages because they know how they are going to do,” Matzelle said.

Matzelle also offered advice saying that the students are not the only key players in the percentages, the faculty plays a key role too. Many research schools have graduate assistants who teach classes and the students never see their professor. He also added success might have to do with the size of the school too.

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Kendra Clark

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