Understanding the Attributes: Graduation Rate

It turns out that a school’s graduation rate ranking is a fairly good indicator of alumni success – it ranks 7th among 15 attributes in the strength of its correlation to overall ranking, as detailed in Chapter 2.

The higher a student’s SAT scores are, the more likely they are to graduate within six years. Other factors beyond academic readiness could lead a school to a higher (or lower) graduation rate than SAT score alone would predict:

  • The ease with which students can get into classes required for graduation
  • A student’s financial capability (either through family funding, financial aid or work)
  • Other family and societal pressures that encourage (or discourage) students to complete their studies

In 2011, the six-year graduation rate of our ranked schools ranged from 97% (Yale and Harvard) to 29% (Boise State). Of the Top 25 schools in graduation rate, 21 rank in the Top 50 in The Alumni Factor overall ranking, and 12 rank in the Top 25.