Half of Postsecondary Students Earn Credentials Within Six Years, Report says

Nearly half (49 percent) of students who began their postsecondary education earned a credential – ranging from an educational certificate to a bachelor’s degree — within 6 years, according to a recent National Center for Education Statistics First Look report.

Early assessments of data collected for Persistence and Attainment of 2003–04 Beginning Postsecondary Students: After Six Years provides findings from a study starting in 2003-04 through June 2009. Data indicated that 15 percent of students remained enrolled, but had not yet completed a program of study; and about one-third (36 percent) of students left postsecondary education without earning any credential by June 2009.

Such findings may help underscore the nation’s need to ramp up college completion and credential acquisition rates, particularly as economic forecasts predict that well-paying and growing jobs will require some type of postsecondary credential.

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