Tuesday, March 16, 2010

College Going Rates by State - an Analysis

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See Data Release:
College Going Rates by State - 2008 Early Release
College going rates by state 2008 analysis
Estimated US College Going Rates by State - 2005-06

The college going rate ( aka the college continuation rate) data for normal 2005-06 high school graduates went to degree-granting higher education institutions has been tabulated by both Tom Mortenson and Duncan Hsu. The later also includes information on un-normal high school graduates and the non-degree granting higher education institutions. All these tabulations are based on National Center for Education Statistics' (NCES') Common Core Data (CCD), Private School Survey (PSS) and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

Available reports so far were more interested in the overall degree-granting college going rates by state without looking into other details. Our analysis is aimed to provide a more complete picture.

Let's started with the US averages for college going rate. The average showed that, for normal high school graduates, 61.3% of them went to degree-granting colleges while 1.5% went to non-degree granting colleges. The list of rates are given below.

State % Dgree-Granting % Not-Dgree-Granting % All College Going
Alabama 62.7% 0.3% 63.0%
Alaska 45.7% 2.1% 47.8%
Arizona 44.8% 1.9% 46.7%
Arkansas 56.6% 0.9% 57.5%
California 55.8% 1.2% 57.1%
Colorado 63.0% 1.6% 64.6%
Connecticut 70.4% 2.7% 73.1%
Delaware 64.2% 1.4% 65.6%
District of Columbia 56.9% 8.6% 65.5%
Florida 60.2% 2.8% 63.0%
Georgia 68.2% 1.7% 69.9%
Hawaii 59.7% 0.5% 60.2%
Idaho 45.7% 0.9% 46.6%
Illinois 60.8% 1.2% 61.9%
Indiana 63.5% 0.9% 64.4%
Iowa 61.6% 1.1% 62.7%
Kansas 65.7% 1.7% 67.4%
Kentucky 61.4% 0.8% 62.3%
Louisiana 65.7% 1.4% 67.0%
Maine 64.7% 0.8% 65.5%
Maryland 65.7% 2.1% 67.8%
Massachusetts 71.8% 2.1% 73.8%
Michigan 65.3% 1.3% 66.5%
Minnesota 68.4% 1.4% 69.7%
Mississippi 75.7% 0.7% 76.3%
Missouri 57.1% 0.8% 57.9%
Montana 58.1% 0.9% 59.0%
Nebraska 64.5% 1.0% 65.5%
Nevada 52.1% 1.7% 53.8%
New Hampshire 65.0% 1.1% 66.2%
New Jersey 69.7% 2.1% 71.8%
New Mexico 70.5% 1.0% 71.5%
New York 74.4% 1.6% 76.1%
North Carolina 65.6% 0.6% 66.2%
North Dakota 72.3% 1.0% 73.3%
Ohio 60.1% 1.0% 61.1%
Oklahoma 59.2% 4.4% 63.5%
Oregon 47.3% 1.0% 48.4%
Pennsylvania 62.1% 1.5% 63.7%
Rhode Island 54.7% 2.2% 56.9%
South Carolina 71.1% 0.7% 71.7%
South Dakota 71.9% 0.8% 72.7%
Tennessee 63.5% 2.7% 66.3%
Texas 55.2% 2.2% 57.4%
Utah 46.2% 1.1% 47.3%
Vermont 55.4% 0.8% 56.2%
Virginia 67.3% 1.0% 68.2%
Washington 48.0% 0.9% 49.0%
West Virginia 57.8% 2.8% 60.6%
Wisconsin 61.2% 0.7% 62.0%
Wyoming 58.1% 0.6% 58.6%

US Total 61.7% 1.5% 63.2%

Analyzing the non-degree granting college going rates reveals that most of the states have a rate of lower than 3% while the Oklahoma posted a rate of 4.4% and District of Columbia boasted a rate of 8.6%.


The frequency distribution of the degree-granting college going rates shows that while most of the states have a rate of greater than 54%, there are seven states that are away from the pack. These states are: Nevada(52.1%), South Carolina(49.0%), Washington(48.0%), Oregon(47.3%), Utah(46.2%), Alaska(45.7%), Idaho(45.7%) and Arizona(44.8%).


Diving into the degree-granting college going rate, we found that, in general, the four year college going rate is higher that of the two year college going rate. For the nation, the traditional four year colleges enrolled about 68% of all the degree-granting colleges going students, where the traditional four year colleges are defined as the public four year colleges plus the private non-for profit four year colleges. The overall degree-granting college going rate, separated into type of colleges and ranked by state is presented here.

Degree-Granting college going rates by state

As we can see from the chart the fractions taken by the traditional four year colleges varies from state to state. Analyzing the fraction, it reveals that the range varies from 35% (Mississippi) to about 95% (Alaska) and, except for on state (Mississippi, 35%), all states have fractions higher than 52%. While Alaska sending almost all of its students to traditional four year colleges, Mississippi sending only 35%. Looking for the Mississippi in the above chart, we notice that Mississippi achieving the highest degree-granting college going rate by sending most of its college going students to colleges other than the traditional four year colleges - noticeably, the two year public schools. District of Columbia(91%) and Vermont (90%) also send high percentage of their college going students to traditional four year schools.

distribution of the Percentage of traditional four year college

The following chart ranked states by the traditional four year college going rate.

traditional four year college going rate

Rounding up the four year schools, we considered the private for-profit four year schools. On average, the college going rate for this sector is about 1%. Checking out the frequency distribution for this sector, it shows that for most of the states, this rate is lower than 1.6% while there are four states that with higher rates: Florida (2.7%), New Mexico (2.5%), New Hampshire (2.2%) and Arizona(1.9%).

Private four-year for-profit College Going Rates

For two years-or-less schools, the biggest sector is the public two year schools with an average of 17.7% college going rate. Analyzing the sector, it shows all states except three are confined within 2 to 24%. At the higher ends are Mississippi (48%), Wyoming (27.1%) and New Mexico (27%).

Public two-year College Going Rates

For private two years-or-less schools, the for-profit schools averaged at 0.8% while the not-for-profit schools averaged at 0.2%. The for-profit sector reveals that all states except three are falling within the range of 0.2 to 1.4%. The three at the higher end are Pennsylvania (2.8%), Colorado (2.5%) and Ohio (1.7%). In the not-for-profit sector, majority (25) of the states have a rate of 0.1% with all of them below 1%. The highest two states are Hawaii and South Carolina at a rate of 0.8%.

Private for-profit two-year College Going Rates

Private not-for-profit two-year College Going Rates

Rounding up the article, we like to note that there are much more to the college going rates than the overall degree-granting college going rate. Examining together with other factors like in-state, out-state college going rate, the college graduation rates and the industry hiring pattens can reveal even more information.

1 comment:

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