Will New Federal Guidelines Improve Community College Graduation Rates? Grand Rapids Community College Says Yes

Ann McClure's picture

When it comes to the graduation rate at Grand Rapids Community College, administrators say the numbers don’t tell the full story.

The reason: Data collected by the federal government to calculate the rate includes only full-time students attending college for the first time.

That excludes part-time students – who in the fall 2010 made up more than half of GRCC’s student body – and students who dropped out but later returned.

Plus, graduation rates are measured over a three-year period, when in reality, it often takes students longer to get a diploma, administrators say.

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