Graduation Rate Information

Various websites now include information about college graduation rates. If you are wondering just what this means and how such information should inform your college choice decision, we think the following will be useful.

The federal government now reports six year graduation rates. Recognize however, that the majority of Chestnut Hill College graduates do so in FOUR YEARS. In fact, Chestnut Hill College ranks among the top ten institutions of our type in four-year graduation rates.

Questions you might ask when interpreting graduation rates include:
What is a graduation rate?
The definition of graduation rates is prescribed by the federal government. This means that a group of first-time freshmen are followed from the year they enter college through six years to determine how many graduate. Such information is easily communicated and compared across institutions.

What doesn’t this tell me?
Readers should be cautious when attempting to evaluate an institution’s performance based solely on its graduation rates. Factors, such as an institution’s mission statement, the type of students served, racial/ethnic diversity, selectivity, and the availability of academic support services, must be taken into consideration when comparing one institution to another.

Additionally, it is important to remember that some students may enter college only to attain knowledge or skills to provide qualifications for employment; or students decide to pursue a specialized degree, such as engineering or nursing, or to demonstrate achievement at postsecondary level that will allow them to transfer to a different college or university. These examples are not taken into consideration when measuring graduation rates.

What does the graduation rate information on the FAFSA tell me?
The graduation rate information reported on the FAFSA is based on self-reported data that may be reported differently by a college or university based on institutional preference. It’s important to consider that a graduation rate is just one piece of information to collect and examine as you determine the institution that you feel best fulfills your needs.

Chestnut Hill College is a very different institution today than in 2002.

Here are just a few examples: 

CHC in 2002  CHC in 2010  

• Women’s college
• 600 full-time undergraduates
• 26 majors
• NCAA Division III Athletics – 7 sports
• CHC campus – 35 acres
• 3 residence halls

• Fully coeducational
• 1,400 full-time undergraduates – highest in CHC history
• 30 majors and 3 dual degree programs
• NCAA Division II Athletics – 14 sports
• CHC and Sugarloaf campuses – 70+ acres
• 5 residence halls
• “Best in the Northeast” ranking by Princeton Review



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