College Graduation Rate
The percentage of students enrolled in St. Louis-area colleges and universities that complete their program within 6 years
White students are more than twice as likely to graduate from college within six years as black students.
A score of 100 represents racial equity, meaning there are no racial disparities in outcomes between black and white populations. The lower the Equity Score, the greater the disparity.
For College Graduation Rate, a score of 100 — a score reflecting racial equity — would mean white and black students are equally likely to graduate from college within six years. It is important to note that for this indicator, equity is not our only goal: we also want to improve outcomes for all.
What does this indicator measure?
College Graduation Rate measures the percentage of students enrolled in St. Louis-area colleges and universities that complete their program within 6 years (150% of the normal or expected time for completion). Across these institutions, 66.6% of students graduated within six years in 2016.
College graduation rate analysis
Students who graduate from college within six years of matriculation in St. Louis City.
|All||White||Black||Disparity Ratio||Equity Score|
|Students who graduate college within six years of matriculation||4,560||3,105||251||-||-|
|Six-year college graduation rate||66.6%||71.3%||32.4%||2.199 to 1||39|
Data Source: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, 2016.
Data Note: Adjusted cohort is defined as the result of removing any allowable exclusions from a specific group of students established for tracking purposes. Students may be removed from a cohort if they left the institution for one of the following reasons: death or total and permanent disability; service in the armed forces (including those called to active duty); service with a foreign aid service of the federal government, such as the Peace Corps; or service on official church missions. There were twelve 4-year colleges in the St. Louis area included in this analysis: Blackburn College, Fontbonne University, Harris-Stowe State University, Lindenwood University, Maryville University, McKendree University, Missouri Baptist University, Principia College, St. Louis University, University of Missouri–St. Louis, Washington University in St. Louis, and Webster University.
What does this analysis mean?
White students are more than twice as likely to graduate from St. Louis area colleges within six years as black students. Asian students are the most likely to graduate within six years (86.8%), followed by white students (71.3%), multiracial students (70.5%), and Hispanic students (67.8%). Black students are by far the least likely to graduate within six years (32.4%). If graduation rates were equitable, 301 more black students would have graduated in 2016.
In 2016, the institution that contributed the most black graduates to the St. Louis region was Washington University in St. Louis. Washington University students make up 34% of all black students that graduate within six years. The institution that was the biggest contributor to the low black graduation rate is Harris Stowe State University. Harris-Stowe students make up 46% of all black students who do not graduate within six years.
Why does College Graduation Rate matter?
St. Louis area colleges that produce graduates contribute to our college-educated population. College degrees generally lead to more job opportunities, greater income, and increased professional ability. A college degree contributes to long-term earnings, so disparities in college graduation rates can contribute to disparities in income and employment for years to come.
Which Calls to Action from the Ferguson Commission report are linked with this indicator?
To increase educational attainment, the Ferguson Commission calls to action include:
Questions for further investigation
- Why is there a racial disparity in College Graduation Rate?
- What can St. Louis do to reduce racial disparities in College Graduation Rate?
- What initiatives are currently underway to reduce racial disparities in College Graduation Rate?
How can I learn more about this issue?
Complete College America is a nonprofit alliance of states, systems, institutional consortia and partner organizations working together to increase the number of students successfully completing college and closing attainment gaps for traditionally underrepresented populations.