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Retention rates surpasses peers

(Oct. 23, 2001)   —   The latest national data show that ECU exceeds the averages of comparable universities in most categories of student retention and graduation rates.

Dr. Kris Smith, interim director of Planning and Institutional Research, said, "While part of ECU’s success is due to improvements in the quality of the incoming students, a large part of it is also due to the efforts placed on improving advising, changes in academic policies, and in its intervention strategies."

Smith cited the latest edition of U.S. News & World Report: America’s Best Colleges, which reported that given the academic profile of ECU students, the university’s predicted graduation rate should be 43 percent. "ECU’s actual graduation rate is 51 percent, considerably higher than expected," she said.

"Although ECU experienced a slight decline in its first-year retention rates from 79 percent in 1998 to 76 percent in 1999, it appears this decline may be the result of the new academic standards implemented in the fall of 1999," Smith said. "If so, these rates should catch up with and eventually exceed the retention and graduation rates of earlier cohorts."

Here are key findings from the latest report assembled by the Consortium for Student Retention Data Exchange:

ECU outpaces peer institutions for 4-, 5- and 6-year graduation rates. The 4-year graduation rate for ECU is 25.6 percent, more than 5 percentage points higher than the average for its peer group. The 6-year rate is 51.1 percent, nearly 6 percentage points higher.

ECU exceeds average retention and graduation rates for most comparison categories. For example, ECU exceeds the 6-year graduation rate for public Carnegie doctoral/research-intensive and master’s level universities and exceeds the consortium average for public institutions of comparable selectivity.

ECU exceeded the average graduation rate of the 75 moderately selective public institutions included in the study.

ECU ranked seventh highest for 6-year graduation rates for the 1994 cohort among the 73 moderately selective public institutions that participated in the CSDRE and that agreed to release their data for individual comparisons.

ECU increased its 4-year graduation rate, countering the national trend. This same trend is observed for 5-year and 6-year graduation rates.


Contact: ECU News Bureau | 252-328-6481