As more students choose public universities over private in order to afford tuition costs, finding the best state college or university depends on a few key statistics. One of the most important—the graduation rate.
The six-year completion rate for first-time, full-time students who started their four-year degree in the fall of 2008 was 55 percent, according to a study by the National Student Clearinghouse released in February.
The rate has remained more or less stable in the past few years and is on average similar for private universities as it is for public universities, which are funded in part with our tax dollars.
There are great discrepancies within the graduation rate at four-year public universities, just as there are among the different states (Delaware has a 73.4 percent graduation, Alaska has a 30 percent graduation rate).
Here are the five public universities with the highest graduation rates:
- University of Virginia – 93.1 percent
- University of California at Berkeley – 91 percent
- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – 90 percent
- University of Michigan at Ann Arbor – 90 percent
- University of Florida – 86.5 percent
These figures, as well as those compiled in the list of public universities with the worst graduation rates, came from the Chronicle of Higher Education for the year 2013, the latest data available. Additional data in the slideshow came from U.S. News World Report.
Click here to see the 10 public universities with the worst graduation rates
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