University of Utah graduation rates do not measure up against comparable institutions, undermining the state’s competitiveness and depressing tax revenues, according to a legislative audit released Tuesday.
Reasons for the U.’s 58 percent six-year graduation rate are a lack of college readiness among incoming freshmen, particularly in math and science, and the fact that many students dawdle through college, earning credits that don’t advance them toward graduation, auditors say.
In testimony before the Legislative Audit Subcommittee, auditors recommended several measures to speed students to the finish line because the more time they spend in school, the less chance they have of completing a degree. They also encouraged schools to bump up admissions standards, which the U. and others have already done in recent years.
"College completion is a complex issue with a myriad of factors coming into play. The audit addresses college readiness, but even that has many facets," responded William Sederburg, commissioner of higher education, in written remarks.