Efforts to improve student successes at the University of Mississippi have paid off in recent years, and data compiled by The Chronicle of Higher Education puts the university first in Mississippi among public universities in terms of four- and six-year graduation rates.
Also, college students in Mississippi graduate at a higher rate than fellow students in any surrounding state. According to College Completion, a report prepared by the Chronicle, Mississippi ranks 31st nationally, with 49.9 percent of college students graduating within six years. The analysis was performed using graduation data for 2010.
UM ranks first in the state, with 33.9 percent of students graduating in four years and 58.7 percent graduating within six years, according to the publication’s data. The university’s graduation rates have improved greatly over the past two decades, rising from 49.0 percent for the 1989-1990 reporting year.
“At the University of Mississippi, the retention, persistence and, ultimately, graduation of our students are primary goals,” Provost Morris Stocks said. “Our faculty and staff are committed to providing the direction and support necessary for students to succeed. The progress that we have made in improving our graduation rate is directly related to the quality of our students and the advising and mentoring support that they receive.”
The university’s graduation rates also best national averages for both four and six years. Nationally, 31.3 percent of college students earn their degree in four years, and 56.0 percent graduate in six years.
Among surrounding states, Alabama has the highest six-year graduation rate, at 47.5 percent. In Tennessee, 45.5 percent of students graduate within six years; in Louisiana, 38.8 percent; and in Arkansas, 38.7 percent. In other nearby states, Georgia ranked just ahead of Mississippi with a 51.6 percent graduation rate.
Regionally, Virginia has the top graduation rate, at 68.4 percent, and Florida is next with 61.4 percent.
All the data and a comprehensive look at college completion trends, policies and analysis are available at http://collegecompletion.chronicle.com. College Completion is a microsite produced by The Chronicle of Higher Education with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. — Mitchell Diggs, Ole Miss News Desk